Stephen of Sourozh

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Our father among the saints Stephen of Sourozh (Russian: Стефан Сурожского), also Stephen the Confessor, was the Archbishop of Sourozh during the eighth century. He is commemorated on December 15.

Life

Stephen was a native of Cappadocia in Asia Minor. His date of birth is unknown. He received his education in Constantinople and soon entered a monastic life of asceticism. He withdrew from civilization and lived in the wildness for thirty years. Having heard of Stephen's humility and virtuous life, Patriarch Germanus of Constantinople came to know Stephen and ordained him bishop of Sourozh in the Crimea, now the city of Sudak. Within five years, Stephen's ministry was so fruitful that no heretics or pagans remained in Sourozh or its environs.

Stephen lived during the period of iconoclasm when icons were being destroyed. As a defender of the veneration of icons and having refused to obey the orders of the emperor to remove the icons from the churches of Sourozh, the iconoclast Patriarch Anastasius had Stephen brought to Constantinople. There he came under the punishment of the iconoclast emperor Leo III the Isaurian who had Stephen tortured and imprisoned. After the death of Leo, Stephen was released and returned to his flock in Sourozh, where he died at a quite advanced age.

Miracles

An account has been preserved that at the beginning of the ninth century, during the time of a campaign into the Crimea, the Russian prince w:Bravlin Bravlin accepted baptism, having been influenced by the miracle cure of his paralysis at the crypt of St. Stephen.

Succession box:
Stephen of Sourozh
Preceded by:
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Bishop of Sourozh
7xx-7xx
Succeeded by:
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