Our Holy Father Theophanes the Confessor
Named `the Sygrian' from his birthplace, Sygriane, he was a kinsman of the Emperor Leo the Isaurian (717-41) and his son Cop-ronymos (741-75). He had enormous wealth and lived in great splendour. But all this lost its value for Theophanes when he en-throned Christ the Lord in his soul. Then he was hindered by a mar-riage which he was obliged to make. He succeeded, though, in per-suading his bride that they should live as brother and sister in chas-tity, and, as soon as his parents died, his wife went to one monastery and he to another. His monastery was in the Syrian mountains in the Cyzicus region. The splendid and wealthy Theophanes lived for some time in the monastery us the poorest wretch. And all marvel-led at the great change in him. Then, because he had become so known for his firm faith, abstinence and wisdom, he was invited to the 7th Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 787, at which the venera-tion of icons was upheld. Because of his great purity and chastity, God gave him the gift of wonder-working and he was able to heal all manner of illness, especially mania and madness. He prayed to God for all the sick and distressed and helped them by his prayers. Only when he himself fell ill and was sick for a long time did he refuse to pray for his own healing but endured it with thanksgiving. When another iconoclast period arose under the wicked Emperor Leo the Armenian, Theophanes was taken to Constantinople and thrown into prison, where he spent two years in discomfort, pain and humiliation. The Emperor then sent him into exile on the island of Samothrace, an exile which he had forseen in his spirit and foretold to the prison warders. When he arrived on Samothrace, he lived for only twenty-three days, then went to his Lord and Creator to receive the deserved wreath of glory.
* From "The Prologue from Ochrid", by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic - Lazarica Press - Birmingham 1985
Four Book Edition - Translated by Mother Maria - Dates based on old church calendar.
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