Photius the Great

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[[Image:Photios the Great.jpg|right|frame|St. Photius the Great]]
 
[[Image:Photios the Great.jpg|right|frame|St. Photius the Great]]
Our father among the [[saint]]s '''Photius the Great''' (also ''Photios'', in Greek ''Φωτιoς''), [[Patriarch]] of Constantinople, is considered one of the greatest patriarchs of Constantinople.  His [[feast day]] is celebrated on [[February 6]].
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Our father among the [[saint]]s '''Photius the Great''' (also ''Photios''; Greek Φώτιoς), [[Patriarch]] of Constantinople, is considered one of the greatest patriarchs of Constantinople.  His [[feast day]] is celebrated on [[February 6]].
  
St. Photius was condemned as patriarch by the [[Robber Council of 869-870]], but the [[Eighth Ecumenical Council]] (879-880) affirmed his restoration to his see.  Although he was accused of causing the [[Filioque#The "Photian" Schism|"Photian" Schism]], he was recognized as a major peace-maker of that time.  He reconciled with Patriarch [[Ignatius I of Constantinople|Ignatius]], who named him as his successor (for a second time) upon Ignatius' death in 877.
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St. Photius was condemned as patriarch by the [[Robber Council of 869-870]], but the [[Eighth Ecumenical Council]] (879-880) affirmed his restoration to his [[see]].  Although he was accused of causing the [[Filioque#The "Photian" Schism|"Photian" Schism]], he was recognized as a major peacemaker of that time.  He reconciled with Patriarch [[Ignatius of Constantinople|Ignatius]], who named him as his successor (for a second time) upon Ignatius' death in 877.
 
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{{start box}}
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{{succession|
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before=[[Ignatius I of Constantinople|Ignatius I]]|
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title=Patriarch of Constantinople|
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years=858 – 861|
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after=[[Ignatius I of Constantinople|Ignatius I]]}}
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{{succession|
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before=[[Ignatius I of Constantinople|Ignatius I]]|
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title=Patriarch of Constantinople|
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years=878 – 886|
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after=Stephen I}}
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{{end box}}
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==Life==
 
==Life==
The parents of Photios were wealthy and pious Christians.  His fater was attached to the imperial court with the office of "Guardian of the Emperor and the Palace."  The belonged to the arty which venerate icons and the current Emperor was an iconcoclast against the use of icons in the church.  They were exiled when Photios was seven, disposed of their wealth and eventually martyred. Photios' brother was the Patriarchs [[Patriarch Tarasius of Constantinople|Tarasios]] and related to [[Patriarch John VII of Constantinople|John VII Grammatikos]]. He was known as one who was inclined to the quiet,prayerful and monastic life. Byzantine writers report that Emperor [[Leo VI the Wise|Leo VI]] once angrily called Photios "[[Khazar]]-faced", but whether this was a generic insult or a reference to his ethnicity is unclear.
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Photius' parents were wealthy and pious Christians.  His father was attached to the imperial court with the office of "Guardian of the Emperor and the Palace."  They belonged to the party which venerated [[icon]]s, but the current emperor was an [[iconoclast]] and thus was against the use of icons in the [[Church]].  They were exiled when Photius was seven, their wealth disposed of, and were eventually [[martyr]]ed. Photius referred to [[Patriarch]] [[Tarasius of Constantinople|Tarasius]] as "uncle from his father's side,"{{ref|1}} and he was also related to [[John VII Grammaticus of Constantinople|John VII Grammaticus]]. He was known as one who was inclined to the quiet, prayerful, and [[monasticism|monastic]] life. Byzantine writers report that Emperor [[Leo VI]] once angrily called Photius "Khazar-faced," but whether this was a generic insult or a reference to his ethnicity is unclear.
  
As soon as he had completed his own education, Photios began to teach [[grammar]], [[rhetoric]], [[divinity]] and [[philosophy]]. The way to public life was probably opened for him by (according to one account) the marriage of his brother Sergios to the Irene, a sister of the Empress [[Theodora (9th century)|Theodora]], who upon the death of her husband [[Theophilos, Byzantine Emperor|Theophilos]] in [[842]], had assumed the regency of the empire. Photios became a captain of the guard and subsequently chief imperial secretary (''prōtasēkrētis''). In 855, at thirty-five years of age, Photios was recognized for his political skills and made the ambassador to the Persian caliph in Bagdad with the charge to negotiate an end to the Christian persecution in the Moslem territories.
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As soon as he had completed his own education, Photius began to teach grammar, rhetoric, [[theology]], and [[philosophy]]. The way to public life was probably opened for him by (according to one account) the marriage of his brother Sergius to Irene, a sister of the Empress [[Theodora (9th century empress)|Theodora]], who upon the death of her husband [[Theophilus the Iconoclast|Theophilos]] in 842, had assumed the regency of the empire. Photius became a captain of the guard and subsequently chief imperial secretary (''prōtasēkrētis''). In 855, at thirty-five years of age, Photius was recognized for his political skills and made the ambassador to the Persian caliph in Baghdad with the charge to negotiate an end to Christian persecution in the Muslim territories.
  
The dissension between the patriarch [[Patriarch Ignatios of Constantinople|Ignatios]] and the Caesar Bardas, the uncle of the youthful Emperor [[Michael III]], concerning Bardas' illicit relationship with his daughter-in-law and other questionalble moral pracitces, brought promotion to PhotiosIgnatios was arrested and exiled to the island or Terebinthos in 858 where he submitted his resignation. Photios, a layperson, was inducted into the priesthood and made a bishop within six days, and installed as patriarch. He resisted this appointment as he wished to for a life of contemplation. He was the most distinguished scholar at that time and was seen ubove suspicion being strongly opposed to the iconoclast party since his parents had died in opposition to that cause.   
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==First patriarchate==
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The dissension between Patriarch Ignatius of Constantinople and the Caesar Bardas, the uncle of the youthful Emperor [[Michael III the Amorian|Michael III]], concerning Bardas' illicit relationship with his daughter-in-law and other questionable moral practices, led to Photius' promotionIgnatius was arrested and exiled to the island of Terebinthos in 858, where he submitted his resignation. Photius, a [[laity|layperson]], was inducted into the [[priest]]hood and made a [[bishop]] within six days and then installed as patriarch. He resisted this appointment, as he wished for a more contemplative life. He was the most distinguished scholar at that time and was seen as being above suspicion because he was strongly opposed to the iconoclast party, which had caused his parents' death.   
  
Several months aver his exile, a few ofsupporter of Ignatios came together in the Chruch of Saint Irene and plotted to restore Igantios to the paatriarchate. They nmade an appeal to Pope Nicholas discrediting the appointment of Phtios. This was signed by only six metropolitans and fifteen bishops. There were several monks in this cmp that set out for Rome even thoug Ignatios had volutarily resigned.They were recieved by pope Nicholas eager to assert his power over the Eastern church. [[Pope Nicholas I]] had been successful in bringing the Western church under his absolute control and he now sought to bring the Eastern chruch under the same control.
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Several months after his exile, a few Ignatius' supporters came together in the Church of Saint Irene and plotted to restore Ignatius to the patriarchate. They made an appeal to [[Pope]] [[Nicholas I of Rome|Nicholas]] trying to discrediting his rival Photius' appointment. This was signed by only six metropolitans and fifteen bishops. There were several [[monk]]s in this camp that set out for Rome, even though Ignatius had voluntarily resigned. They were received by Pope Nicholas I, who was eager to assert his power over the Eastern church. Pope Nicholas had previously been successful in bringing the Western church under his absolute control, and he now sought the same power over the East.
  
Photios convened a council in the Church of the Holy Apostles in 859. The intent was to stop the controversy about his appointment. This council found that Ignatios had not been elected by a synod and therefore his election to the patriarchate was illegal. He had been appointed by empress Theodora. Unfortunately the Caesar Barda was vengeful against the opposition and imposed an exile on Ignatios to the island of Mytiline and persecuted some of his folowers. Photios strongly objected to this action.
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Photius convened a council in the [[Church of the Holy Apostles (Constantinople)|Church of the Holy Apostles]] in 859. The intent was to stop the controversy about his appointment. This council found that Ignatius had not been elected by a [[synod]] and therefore his election to the patriarchate was illegal. He had been appointed by Empress Theodora. Unfortunately the Caesar Barda was vengeful against the opposition and imposed an exile on Ignatius to the island of [[Metropolis of Mytiline|Mytiline]] and persecuted some of his followers. Photius strongly objected to this action.
  
N\Pope Nicholas felt that the appointment needed the consent of Rome and objected to the fact that Photiuos was a layperson even thoughthere was precedence for this in both the western and Eastern church. He also demanded that the Byzantines give back to rome the territory of Clalbria and Sicily.
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Pope Nicholas felt that the appointment needed the consent of Rome and objected to the fact that Photius was a layperson even though there was precedence for this in both the Western and Eastern churches. He also demanded that the Byzantines give back to Rome the territories of Calabria and Sicily.
  
In 861 with approval of Photios, Emperor Michael convened a general council in the Church of the Holy Apostles known as the First-Second Synod. The Pope was nvited and he was glad to send his delgates. He sent them with the instruction to investigagte the election of Photios in relation to the canons and and to demand that Illyricum and south Italy be given to Rome. Tis synod ratified the actions of the seventh Ecumenical Council condemning Iconoclasm. Also Photios was affired as the lawful and canonical  patriarch. The western delgation accepted the legality of Photios appointment. Ignatios appeared before the synod and was deposed.
+
In 861, with approval of Photius, Emperor Michael convened a general council in the Church of the Holy Apostles, known as the First-Second Synod. The pope was invited, and he was glad to send his delegates. He sent them with the instruction to investigate the election of Photius in relation to the [[canons]] and and to demand that Illyricum and southern Italy be given to Rome. This synod ratified the actions of the [[Seventh Ecumenical Council]] condemning iconoclasm. Also, Photius was affirmed as the lawful and canonical  patriarch. The western delegation accepted the legality of Photius' appointment. Ignatius appeared before the synod and was deposed.
  
When the delgates returned to Rome and found thanicholas found that his demands for territorial rights were not considered he became angry and excommunicated his delegates. He convened a council in Rome in 863 after which he deposed and excommunicated Photios on the bais that his appointment was uncanonical. He chose to recognize Ignatios as the legitimate patriarch.   
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When the delegates returned to Rome and that Nicholas found that his demands for territorial rights were not considered, he became angry and excommunicated his delegates. He convened a council in Rome in 863 in which he deposed and excommunicated Photius on the basis that his appointment was uncanonical. He chose to recognize Ignatius as the legitimate patriarch.   
  
The conflict between Rome and Constantinople reaachd a cimax. Phtios was defending the autonomy of the Eastern church but also vital interests of the empire. He had the full support of emperor Michael III and sent a letter to the popo demanding that he with draw his decision against Photios. In 867 an ecumenical council was held with over one-thousand attendiing. This council excommunicated Nicholas, condemned the pope's claimes of primacy, his interference in Bulgaria, and the innovative addition of the filioque cluse to the creed. The letters of both Nicholas and Photios were read at this council. he situation was additionally complicated by the question of [[Papacy|papal]] authority over the entire Church and by disputed jurisdiction over newly-converted [[Bulgaria]]. It pronounced that the Latin interference in the affairs of the ByzantineChurch was unlawful. The German Emperor Louis II was asked to intervene and depose pope Nicholas but he died that same year.
+
The conflict between Rome and Constantinople reached a climax. Photius not only was defending the autonomy of the Eastern church, but also vital interests of the empire. With the full support of Emperor Michael III, he sent a letter to the pope demanding that he withdraw his decision against Photius. In 867, a council was held with over a thousand clergymen attending. This council excommunicated Nicholas, condemned the pope's claims of primacy, his interference in Bulgaria, and the innovative addition of the [[filioque]] clause to the [[Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed|creed]]. The letters of both Nicholas and Photius were read at this council. The situation was additionally complicated by the question of [[Papacy|papal]] authority over the entire Church and by disputed jurisdiction over newly converted [[Bulgaria]]. It pronounced that the Latin interference in the affairs of the Byzantine Church was unlawful. The German Emperor Louis II was asked to intervene and depose Pope Nicholas, but he died that same year.
  
There were two Emperors in the East at the time Michaal II and Basil I. Michael plotted to kill Basil but Basil found out about the plot and murdered Michael. Photios refused to accdept the murder of Basil and refused him cCommunion on a great feat day. This angered Basil so he held him imprisone in a Monastery.  He then reinstates Ignatios in 867.
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There were two emperors in the East at the time, Michael II and Basil I. Michael plotted to kill Basil, but Basil found out about the plot and murdered Michael. Photius refused to accept the murder of Michael and refused Basil [[communion]] on a great [[feast day]]. This angered Basil, so he had Photius imprisoned in a [[monastery]].
  
This state of affairs changed with the murder of Photios' patron [[Bardas]] in 866 and of the emperor Michael in 867, by his colleague [[Basil I the Macedonian|Basil the Macedonian]], who now usurped the throne. Photios was deposed as [[patriarch]], not so much because he was a protegé of Bardas and Michael, but because Basil I was seeking an alliance with the Pope and the western emperor. Photios was removed from his office and banished about the end of September 867, and Ignatios was reinstated on [[November 23]]. During his second patriarchate, Ignatios followed a policy not very different from that of Photios.  This perhaps helped improve relations between the two, and in c. 876 Photios was suddenly recalled to Constantinople and entrusted with the education of the emperor's children ad became an advisor to Ignatios. On the death of Ignatios in October 877, Photios, after the requisite show of reluctance, and being recommended by Ignatios prior to his death, was restored to the patriarchal throne.  
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This state of affairs changed with the murder of Photius' patron Bardas in 866 and of the Emperor Michael in 867 by his colleague [[Basil I|Basil the Macedonian]], who now usurped the throne. Photius was deposed as [[patriarch]] not so much because he was a protegé of Bardas and Michael, but because Basil I was seeking an alliance with the pope and the western emperor. Photius was removed from his office and banished around the end of September 867, and Ignatius was reinstated on [[November 23]]. During his second patriarchate, Ignatius followed a policy not very different from that of Photius.  This perhaps helped improve relations between the two, and circa 876 Photius was suddenly recalled to Constantinople and entrusted with the education of the emperor's children, becoming an advisor to Ignatius. On the death of Ignatius in October 877, Photius, after the requisite show of reluctance, having been recommended by Ignatius prior to his death, was restored to the patriarchal throne.  
  
Photios now obtained the formal recognition of the Christian world in a council convened at Constantinople in November 879. The legates of [[Pope John VIII]] attended, prepared to acknowledge Photios as legitimate patriarch, a concession for which the pope was much censured by Latin opinion. The patriarch stood firm on the main points contested between the Eastern and Western Churches, the demanded apology to the Pope, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction over [[Bulgaria]], and the introduction of the [[filioque clause]] into the [[Nicene creed|creed]]. Eventually Photios refused to apologize or accept the ''filioque'', and the papal legates made do with his return of Bulgaria to Rome. This concession, however, was purely nominal, as Bulgaria's return to the [[Byzantine rite]] in 870 had already secured for it an autocephalous church.  Without the consent of [[Boris I of Bulgaria]], the papacy was unable to enforce its claims.   
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==Second patriarchate==
 +
Photius now obtained the formal recognition of the Christian world in a council convened at Constantinople in November 879. The legates of Pope [[John VIII of Rome|John VIII]] attended, prepared to acknowledge Photius as legitimate patriarch, a concession for which the pope was much censured by Latin opinion. The patriarch stood firm on the main points contested between the eastern and western Churches, the demanded apology to the pope, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction over [[Bulgaria]], and the introduction of the ''[[filioque]]'' clause into the [[Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed|creed]]. Eventually Photius refused to apologize or accept the ''filioque'', and the papal legates made do with his return of Bulgaria to Rome. This concession, however, was purely nominal, as Bulgaria's return to the [[Byzantine Rite]] in 870 had already made it an [[autocephalous]] church.  Without the consent of Boris I of Bulgaria, the papacy was unable to enforce its claims.   
  
During the altercations between Basil I and his heir [[Leo VI the Wise|Leo VI]], Photios took the side of the emperor. Consequently, when Basil died in 886 and Leo became senior emperor, Photios was dismissed and banished, although he had been Leo's tutor. Photios' was sent into exile to the monastery of Bordi in [[Armenia]]. From this time Photios disappears from history. No letters of this period of his life are extant. The precise date of his death is not known, but it is said to have occurred on [[February 6]], [[893]].
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During the altercations between Basil I and his heir Leo VI, Photius took the side of the emperor. Consequently, when Basil died in 886 and Leo became senior emperor, Photius was dismissed and banished, although he had been Leo's tutor. Photius was sent into exile to the [[monastery]] of Bordi in [[Armenia]]. From this time Photius disappears from history. No letters of this period of his life are extant. The precise date of his death is not known, but it is said to have occurred on [[February 6]], 893.
  
Photios was long the standard-bearer of the Church in its disagreements with the pope of Rome. All agree on the virtue of his personal life and his remarkable talents, even genius, and the wide range of his intellectual aptitudes. Pope Nicholas himself referred to his "great virtues and universal knowledge."
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Photius was long the standard-bearer of the Church in its disagreements with the pope of Rome. All agree on the virtue of his personal life and his remarkable talents, even genius, and the wide range of his intellectual aptitudes. Pope Nicholas himself referred to his "great virtues and universal knowledge."
  
 
==Hymns==
 
==Hymns==
[[Troparion]] (Tone 4) [http://oca.org/FStropars.asp?SID=13&ID=100442]
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[[Troparion]] ([[Tone]] 4) [http://oca.org/FStropars.asp?ID=100442]
 
:Follower of the [[Apostles]]' way
 
:Follower of the [[Apostles]]' way
 
:And teacher of mankind:
 
:And teacher of mankind:
Line 64: Line 51:
 
:"Hail, all-honorable Photius."
 
:"Hail, all-honorable Photius."
  
==External Links==
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{{start box}}
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{{succession|
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before=[[Ignatius of Constantinople|Ignatius I]]|
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title=[[List of Patriarchs of Constantinople|Patriarch of Constantinople]]|
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years=858 – 861|
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after=[[Ignatius of Constantinople|Ignatius I]]}}
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{{succession|
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before=[[Ignatius of Constantinople|Ignatius I]]|
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title= Patriarch of Constantinople|
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years=878 – 886|
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after=[[Stephen I of Constantinople|Stephen I]]}}
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{{end box}}
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==Reference==
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*{{note|1}} [http://www.photius.com/photios/photios15.html The Life of Patriarch Photios] by D. S. White
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==Source==
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*[[w:Patriarch_Photios_I_of_Constantinople&oldid=105866658|''Patriarch Photios I of Constantinople'' at Wikipedia]], retrieved on February 5, 2007
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*[http://homepage.mac.com/pgilbert22/articles/Dvornik%20on%20Photius.htm  F. Dvornik: Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople]
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==External links==
 
*[http://www.photius.com/photios/ Patriarch Photius of Constantinople: His Life, Scholarly Contributions, and Correspondence Together with a Translation of Fifty-two of His Letters] by Despina Stratoudaki White, copyright © 1982 by the Holy Cross Orthodox Press
 
*[http://www.photius.com/photios/ Patriarch Photius of Constantinople: His Life, Scholarly Contributions, and Correspondence Together with a Translation of Fifty-two of His Letters] by Despina Stratoudaki White, copyright © 1982 by the Holy Cross Orthodox Press
*[http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=100442 St. Photius the Patriarch of Constantinople] ([[OCA]])
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*[http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/index.htm#Photius_of_Constantinople The ''Bibliotheca'' or ''Myriobiblion''] by Photios of Constantinople
*[http://goarch.org/en/chapel/saints.asp?contentid=527 Photios, Patriarch of Constantinople] ([[GOARCH]])
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*[http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?FSID=100442 St. Photius the Patriarch of Constantinople] ([[OCA]])
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*[http://www.goarch.org/chapel/saints/527 Photios, Patriarch of Constantinople] ([[GOARCH]])
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*[http://homepage.mac.com/pgilbert22/articles/Dvornik%20on%20Photius.htm  Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople] New Catholic Encyclopedia article by Fr. [[Francis Dvornik]]
 
*[[Wikipedia:Photius I of Constantinople|''Photius I of Constantinople'']] at Wikipedia
 
*[[Wikipedia:Photius I of Constantinople|''Photius I of Constantinople'']] at Wikipedia
 
*[http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12043b.htm Photius of Constantinople] from the online [[Roman Catholic Church|Catholic]] Encyclopedia
 
*[http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12043b.htm Photius of Constantinople] from the online [[Roman Catholic Church|Catholic]] Encyclopedia
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*[http://www.comeandseeicons.com/p/nbo01.htm Icon of St. Photios the Great]
  
 
[[Category:Bishops]]
 
[[Category:Bishops]]
 
[[Category:Patriarchs of Constantinople]]
 
[[Category:Patriarchs of Constantinople]]
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[[Category:9th-century bishops]]
 
[[Category:Saints]]
 
[[Category:Saints]]
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[[Category:Byzantine Saints]]
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[[Category:9th-century saints]]
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[[el:Φώτιος Α΄ ο Μέγας]]
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[[ro:Fotie cel Mare]]

Latest revision as of 18:26, November 20, 2012

St. Photius the Great

Our father among the saints Photius the Great (also Photios; Greek Φώτιoς), Patriarch of Constantinople, is considered one of the greatest patriarchs of Constantinople. His feast day is celebrated on February 6.

St. Photius was condemned as patriarch by the Robber Council of 869-870, but the Eighth Ecumenical Council (879-880) affirmed his restoration to his see. Although he was accused of causing the "Photian" Schism, he was recognized as a major peacemaker of that time. He reconciled with Patriarch Ignatius, who named him as his successor (for a second time) upon Ignatius' death in 877.

Contents

Life

Photius' parents were wealthy and pious Christians. His father was attached to the imperial court with the office of "Guardian of the Emperor and the Palace." They belonged to the party which venerated icons, but the current emperor was an iconoclast and thus was against the use of icons in the Church. They were exiled when Photius was seven, their wealth disposed of, and were eventually martyred. Photius referred to Patriarch Tarasius as "uncle from his father's side,"1 and he was also related to John VII Grammaticus. He was known as one who was inclined to the quiet, prayerful, and monastic life. Byzantine writers report that Emperor Leo VI once angrily called Photius "Khazar-faced," but whether this was a generic insult or a reference to his ethnicity is unclear.

As soon as he had completed his own education, Photius began to teach grammar, rhetoric, theology, and philosophy. The way to public life was probably opened for him by (according to one account) the marriage of his brother Sergius to Irene, a sister of the Empress Theodora, who upon the death of her husband Theophilos in 842, had assumed the regency of the empire. Photius became a captain of the guard and subsequently chief imperial secretary (prōtasēkrētis). In 855, at thirty-five years of age, Photius was recognized for his political skills and made the ambassador to the Persian caliph in Baghdad with the charge to negotiate an end to Christian persecution in the Muslim territories.

First patriarchate

The dissension between Patriarch Ignatius of Constantinople and the Caesar Bardas, the uncle of the youthful Emperor Michael III, concerning Bardas' illicit relationship with his daughter-in-law and other questionable moral practices, led to Photius' promotion. Ignatius was arrested and exiled to the island of Terebinthos in 858, where he submitted his resignation. Photius, a layperson, was inducted into the priesthood and made a bishop within six days and then installed as patriarch. He resisted this appointment, as he wished for a more contemplative life. He was the most distinguished scholar at that time and was seen as being above suspicion because he was strongly opposed to the iconoclast party, which had caused his parents' death.

Several months after his exile, a few Ignatius' supporters came together in the Church of Saint Irene and plotted to restore Ignatius to the patriarchate. They made an appeal to Pope Nicholas trying to discrediting his rival Photius' appointment. This was signed by only six metropolitans and fifteen bishops. There were several monks in this camp that set out for Rome, even though Ignatius had voluntarily resigned. They were received by Pope Nicholas I, who was eager to assert his power over the Eastern church. Pope Nicholas had previously been successful in bringing the Western church under his absolute control, and he now sought the same power over the East.

Photius convened a council in the Church of the Holy Apostles in 859. The intent was to stop the controversy about his appointment. This council found that Ignatius had not been elected by a synod and therefore his election to the patriarchate was illegal. He had been appointed by Empress Theodora. Unfortunately the Caesar Barda was vengeful against the opposition and imposed an exile on Ignatius to the island of Mytiline and persecuted some of his followers. Photius strongly objected to this action.

Pope Nicholas felt that the appointment needed the consent of Rome and objected to the fact that Photius was a layperson even though there was precedence for this in both the Western and Eastern churches. He also demanded that the Byzantines give back to Rome the territories of Calabria and Sicily.

In 861, with approval of Photius, Emperor Michael convened a general council in the Church of the Holy Apostles, known as the First-Second Synod. The pope was invited, and he was glad to send his delegates. He sent them with the instruction to investigate the election of Photius in relation to the canons and and to demand that Illyricum and southern Italy be given to Rome. This synod ratified the actions of the Seventh Ecumenical Council condemning iconoclasm. Also, Photius was affirmed as the lawful and canonical patriarch. The western delegation accepted the legality of Photius' appointment. Ignatius appeared before the synod and was deposed.

When the delegates returned to Rome and that Nicholas found that his demands for territorial rights were not considered, he became angry and excommunicated his delegates. He convened a council in Rome in 863 in which he deposed and excommunicated Photius on the basis that his appointment was uncanonical. He chose to recognize Ignatius as the legitimate patriarch.

The conflict between Rome and Constantinople reached a climax. Photius not only was defending the autonomy of the Eastern church, but also vital interests of the empire. With the full support of Emperor Michael III, he sent a letter to the pope demanding that he withdraw his decision against Photius. In 867, a council was held with over a thousand clergymen attending. This council excommunicated Nicholas, condemned the pope's claims of primacy, his interference in Bulgaria, and the innovative addition of the filioque clause to the creed. The letters of both Nicholas and Photius were read at this council. The situation was additionally complicated by the question of papal authority over the entire Church and by disputed jurisdiction over newly converted Bulgaria. It pronounced that the Latin interference in the affairs of the Byzantine Church was unlawful. The German Emperor Louis II was asked to intervene and depose Pope Nicholas, but he died that same year.

There were two emperors in the East at the time, Michael II and Basil I. Michael plotted to kill Basil, but Basil found out about the plot and murdered Michael. Photius refused to accept the murder of Michael and refused Basil communion on a great feast day. This angered Basil, so he had Photius imprisoned in a monastery.

This state of affairs changed with the murder of Photius' patron Bardas in 866 and of the Emperor Michael in 867 by his colleague Basil the Macedonian, who now usurped the throne. Photius was deposed as patriarch not so much because he was a protegé of Bardas and Michael, but because Basil I was seeking an alliance with the pope and the western emperor. Photius was removed from his office and banished around the end of September 867, and Ignatius was reinstated on November 23. During his second patriarchate, Ignatius followed a policy not very different from that of Photius. This perhaps helped improve relations between the two, and circa 876 Photius was suddenly recalled to Constantinople and entrusted with the education of the emperor's children, becoming an advisor to Ignatius. On the death of Ignatius in October 877, Photius, after the requisite show of reluctance, having been recommended by Ignatius prior to his death, was restored to the patriarchal throne.

Second patriarchate

Photius now obtained the formal recognition of the Christian world in a council convened at Constantinople in November 879. The legates of Pope John VIII attended, prepared to acknowledge Photius as legitimate patriarch, a concession for which the pope was much censured by Latin opinion. The patriarch stood firm on the main points contested between the eastern and western Churches, the demanded apology to the pope, the ecclesiastical jurisdiction over Bulgaria, and the introduction of the filioque clause into the creed. Eventually Photius refused to apologize or accept the filioque, and the papal legates made do with his return of Bulgaria to Rome. This concession, however, was purely nominal, as Bulgaria's return to the Byzantine Rite in 870 had already made it an autocephalous church. Without the consent of Boris I of Bulgaria, the papacy was unable to enforce its claims.

During the altercations between Basil I and his heir Leo VI, Photius took the side of the emperor. Consequently, when Basil died in 886 and Leo became senior emperor, Photius was dismissed and banished, although he had been Leo's tutor. Photius was sent into exile to the monastery of Bordi in Armenia. From this time Photius disappears from history. No letters of this period of his life are extant. The precise date of his death is not known, but it is said to have occurred on February 6, 893.

Photius was long the standard-bearer of the Church in its disagreements with the pope of Rome. All agree on the virtue of his personal life and his remarkable talents, even genius, and the wide range of his intellectual aptitudes. Pope Nicholas himself referred to his "great virtues and universal knowledge."

Hymns

Troparion (Tone 4) [1]

Follower of the Apostles' way
And teacher of mankind:
Intercede, O Photius, with the Lord of all,
To grant peace to the world
And to our souls great mercy!

Kontakion (Tone 8) [2]

Far-reaching beacon of the Church and God,
inspired Guide of the Orthodox,
you are now crowned with the flowers of song.
You are the divine words of the Spirit's harp,
the strong adversary of heresy and to whom we cry,
"Hail, all-honorable Photius."
Succession box:
Photius the Great
Preceded by:
Ignatius I
Patriarch of Constantinople
858 – 861
Succeeded by:
Ignatius I
Preceded by:
Ignatius I
Patriarch of Constantinople
878 – 886
Succeeded by:
Stephen I
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