Saint Metrophanes, First Patriarch of Constantinople

June 4

His father, Dometius, brother of the Roman Emperor Probus, fled from Rome as a Christian during the persecution of Christians and arrived at Byzantium. Titus, the Bishop of Byzantium, ordained him a presbyter. Following the death of Titus, Dometius became the Bishop of Byzantium. After the death of Dometius, his eldest son, Probus,* occupied the Episcopal throne, and after the death of Probus, Metrophanes assumed the Episcopal throne. When Emperor Constantine first saw Metrophanes, he loved him as a father. At the time of the First Ecumenical Council (325), Metrophanes was already a man of 117 years and unable to participate in the work of the Council, so he appointed Alexander, his vicar, as his representative. The emperor petitioned the Council to confer upon him (Metrophanes) the title of Patriarch. Thus, he was the first Patriarch of Constantinople. Further, the emperor invited the entire Council to visit the ailing and aged archpastor. When the emperor asked him whom he wished to name as successor to the patriarchal throne, Metrophanes named Alexander of Alexandria. Then he said to Alexander: “O brother, I leave you as my most worthy successor.” He (Metrophanes) then took the hand of Archdeacon Athanasius (later Athanasius the Great, Patriarch of Alexandria) and praised him before all. After this prophecy, Metrophanes sought forgiveness from all and within ten days gave up his soul to God, in the year 325.

*Earlier, Dometius was a pagan and had children.
Source: St. Nikolai Velimirovic, The Prologue of Ohrid – Volume One.

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