Sainted Tarasias, Patriarch of Constantinople
Commemorated on February 25
Patriarch of Constantinople, came of illustrious lineage. He was born and
raised in Constantinople, where he received a fine education. He was rapidly
promoted at the court of the emperor Constantine VI Porphyrigenitos (780-797)
and Constantine's mother, the holy Empress Irene (797-802; Comm. 7 August), and
the saint reached the rank of senator. During these times the Church was
agitated by the turmoil of the Iconoclast disturbances. The holy Patriarch Paul
(780-784, Comm. 30 August) although not sympathetic in soul with
Iconoclasm, through his weakness of character was not able to decisively
contend with the heresy and he therefore withdrew to a monastery, where he took
the schema. When the holy Empress Irene together with her son the emperor came
to him, Saint Paul declared to them, that the most worthy successor to him
would be Saint Tarasias (who at this time was still a layman). Tarasias for a
long time refused, not considering himself worthy of so very high a dignity,
but he then gave in to the common accord, on the condition, that an OEcumenical
Council be convened for rendering judgement on the Iconoclast heresy.
Proceeding in a short while through all the degrees of clergy dignity, Saint
Tarasias was elevated to the Patriarchal throne in the year 784. In the year
787 in the city of Nicea, with holy Patriarch Tarasias presiding, – the
Seventh OEcumenical Council was convened, at which were present 367 bishops.
The affirmation of holy icons was confirmed at the Council. Those of the bishops,
who repented of Iconoclasm, were again received by the Church.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.