Saint Theophylaktos, Bishop of Nicomedea

March 8

When the emperor’s advisor Tarasius, a layman, was elected Patriarch of Constantinople, then many of his friends, admirers, and other laymen received the monastic tonsure either with him or by him. Among them was Theophylaktos. Tarasius appointed him Bishop of Nicomedea. As a bishop, Theophylaktos was a good shepherd to his entrusted flock and proved to be exceptionally compassionate toward the less fortunate and indigent. After the death of St. Tarasius, the patriarchal throne was occupied by Nicephorus. Shortly after that, the imperial throne was occupied by Leo the Armenian, an iconoclast. As such, he raised up an absolute storm in the Church of Christ. Even though iconoclasm had been anathematized by the Seventh Ecumenical Council (Nicaea, 783), nevertheless, Emperor Leo reinstated it and wanted thereby to supplant Orthodoxy. St. Theophylaktos opposed the emperor to his face. When the emperor would not yield, Theophylaktos said to him: “O deliver you from it.” Because of these words and by the order of the emperor, Theophylaktos was removed from his see and sent into exile. There he spent thirty years undergoing many hardships and insults, and in the end he rendered his soul to the Lord in about the year 845.

Source: St. Nikolai Velimirovic, The Prologue of Ohrid – Volume One.

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