Venerable Theophanes the Confessor

March 12

Theophanes is called the Sigrian because Sigriane was his birthplace. He was a kinsman of the Emperor Leo the Isaurian and his son Copronymus. He possessed great wealth and splendor. But all of this lost its worth for Theophanes when the Lord Christ began to reign in his soul. He resisted his own marriage, and when he was compelled to marry, succeeded in counselling his bride to live with him in chastity, as brother and sister. As soon as his parents died, his wife entered a convent and he, a monastery. His monastery was located in the Sigrian Mountains in the Province of Cyzicus. The once-glorious and wealthy Theophanes lived in this monastery as the least of the poor. All were amazed at the change in him. Having become renowned because of his strong faith, abstinence and wisdom, he was summoned to the Seventh Ecumenical Council (Nicaea, 787), where the veneration of icons was confirmed. Because of his purity and chastity, God bestowed upon him the gift of performing miracles, by which he cured all diseases, especially maniacal disorders and insanity. He prayed to God for all the sick and the unfortunate, and through his prayers he helped them. Only when he himself became ill and his illness was prolonged did he refuse to pray to God for the restoration of his own health but endured his illness with gratitude. When the persecution by the iconoclasts resumed again under the wicked Leo the Armenian, Theophanes was brought to Constantinople and cast into prison, where he languished for two years in hardships, pain and humiliation. Then the emperor exiled him to the island of Samothrace. This banishment he had earlier foreseen in his spirit and had foretold it to his jailers. After he arrived at Samothrace, he lived for twenty-three days and then departed to His Lord and Creator to receive his merited wreath of glory.

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

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