Tarasius of Constantinople

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[[Image:Tarasius.jpg|frame|right|Tarasius of Constantinople]]
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[[Image:Tarasius.jpg|frame|right|St. Tarasius of Constantinople]]
Our father among the Saints '''Tarasius''', was '''Patriarch of Constantinople''' from 784 to 806. Patriarch Tarasius presided at the [[Seventh Ecumenical Council]].   He is commemorated  by the Church on [[February 25]]th.
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Our father among the [[saint]]s '''Tarasius of Constantinople''', (Greek: Ταράσιος), was the Patriarch of Constantinople from 784 to 806. He accepted the [[see]] of Constantinople on the condition that a council, the [[Seventh Ecumenical Council]], be convened to settle the issue of [[veneration]] of [[icon]]s. His [[feast day]] is [[February 25]].
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==Life==
 
==Life==
Saints Tarasius was born and educated  in Constantinople.   He swiftly advanced to the rank of senator and royal advisor in the court of the emperor [[Constantine VI]],
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Tarasius is believed to have been born about 730, in Constantinople, the son of a high ranking judge. He was of illustrious lineage, related to important families including the family of the future Patriarch [[Photius the Great]]. He received a fine education and embarked on a career in the secular administration of the empire. He was promoted rapidly at the court of the emperor [[Constantine VI]] and his mother, the Empress [[Irene of Athens|Irene]]. He attained the rank of senator and eventually became imperial secretary (''asekretis'') to Constantine VI and his mother, Irene.
and Constantine's mother, the holy [[Irene of Athens|Empress Irene]].
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During the Iconoclast disturbances the holy [[Paul IV of Constantinople|Patriarch Paul]] who had formerly supported [[Iconoclasm]], repented and resigned his office. After the death of the [[Leo IV the Khazar|emperor Leo]], St Paul wanted to restore [[icon]] veneration but was not able to accomplish this, since the iconoclasts were still quite powerful.
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At that time the Church was agitated by the turmoil of the iconoclast disturbances. Patriarch [[Paul IV of Constantinople|Paul IV]], who had formerly supported [[Iconoclasm]] but later repented, resigned his office due to old age and illness. He withdrew to a [[monastery]], where he took the schema. When the Empress Irene and her son Constantine came to him for advice concerning the patriarchate, Paul told them that his most worthy successor would be Tarasius, who at the time was still a [[laity|layman]]. Even though he was a layman, he, like all educated Byzantines, was well versed in theology, and the election of qualified laymen as bishops was not unheard of in the history of the Church.
  
Irene and Constantine, with Paul's counsel, chose Tarasius to be Paul's successor in the year 783 A.D. Tarasius accepted this rank reluctantly in order to assist Orthodoxy in the struggle against [[heresies]], especially against Iconoclasm. Tarasius was quickly elevated through the ecclesiastical ranks and became patriarch in 784.
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When approached by the emperor and empress, Tarasius refused the position for a long time, considering himself unworthy of the high office. In time, he gave in with the condition that an Ecumenical Council be convened to address the Iconoclast [[heresy]].  
  
In the year 787 the Seventh Ecumenical Council was convened in the city of Nicea, with Patriarch Tarasius presiding, and 367 bishops attending. The veneration of holy icons was confirmed at the council. Those bishops who repented of their iconoclasm, were again received by the Church.
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Beginning as a layman, Tarasius was taken quickly through the [[Holy Orders]], [[ordination|ordained]] first a [[deacon]], then a [[priest]], before [[consecration of a bishop|consecration]] as [[bishop]]. On [[December 25]], 784, Bp. Tarasius was [[enthronement|enthroned]] as [[patriarch]] of Constantinople
  
St Tarasius wisely governed the Church for twenty-two years. He led a strict [[ascetic]] life. He spent all his money on God-pleasing ends, feeding and giving comfort to the aged, to the impoverished, to widows and orphans, and on Holy Pascha he set out a meal for them, and he served them himself.   Toward the powerful, Tarasius was decisive in his defense of faith and morals. When Emperor Constantine banished his lawful wife Maria (granddaughter of St [[Philaret the Merciful of Amnia in Asia Minor|Philaret the Merciful]]), and sought a blessing from the patriarch for marriage to a kinswoman, Tarasius not only refused him a blessing, but first counseled him, after that reproached him, and finally forbid him to receive [[Holy Communion]].
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On [[August 17]], 786, the council was convened in the Church of the Holy Apostles to consider the issue of [[iconoclasm]]. However, the council was suddenly invaded by mutinous troops who dispersed the delegates. It wasn't until the following year, in September 787, that the council was again convened, this time in [[Nicea]]. In attendance were 367 bishops. With Patr. Tarasius presiding, the council, known also as the Second Council of Nicea, condemned Iconoclasm and formally approved the veneration of icons. Patr. Tarasius assumed a moderate policy towards the former Iconoclasts, which caused the opposition of [[Theodore the Studite]] and his partisans. However, those bishops who repented of their iconoclasm were again received by the Church.  
  
Before his death, devils tried to get the saint to admit to sins that he had not committed. Many saw how Tarasius replied to the demons saying: "I am not guilty of this sin! I am not guilty either of that sin!" Until his weakened tongue could not longer speak, he then began to defend himself with his hands driving away the demons. When he expired [[February 25]], 806, his face lightened up as the sun.  
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About a decade later, in January 795, Tarasius became involved in emperor Constantine's divorce of his wife, Maria of Amnia. By the divorce, emperor Constantine slandered his spouse, the empress Maria, the granddaughter of St. Philaretos the Merciful, so that he could send Maria to a monastery and free himself to marry his own kinswoman, Theodote. The monastic community was scandalized. Patr Tarasius, however, refused to dissolve the marriage of the emperor, for which he fell into disgrace. Soon, however, Constantine was deposed by his own mother, the Empress Irene.
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Patr. Tarasius led the Church for twenty-two years. He lived a strict [[asceticism|ascetic]] life. Frugally, he spent his money on God-pleasing ends, feeding and giving comfort to the aged, to the impoverished, and to widows and orphans. On Holy Pascha, he set out a meal for them, that he served himself. Tarasius continued to serve loyally through the subsequent imperial regimes of Irene and Nikephoros I. His ability to work with three different monarchs contributed to his continuation in office until his death.
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Patr. Tarasius reposed on [[February 25]], 806 in Constantinople. He was buried in a monastery he built on the Bosphorus.
  
 
==Hymns==
 
==Hymns==
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:O holy bishop, Tarasius, pray to Christ our God to save our souls!
 
:O holy bishop, Tarasius, pray to Christ our God to save our souls!
  
Troparion (Tone 3)  
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Troparion (Tone 3) [http://www.oca.org/FSTropars.asp?SID=13&ID=100605]
 
:You shone forth as a light of the Spirit,  
 
:You shone forth as a light of the Spirit,  
 
:Adorned with an exemplary life and clothed in hierarchical vesture.
 
:Adorned with an exemplary life and clothed in hierarchical vesture.
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:Which praises your struggles, holy Father Tarasius.
 
:Which praises your struggles, holy Father Tarasius.
  
[[Kontakion]] (Tone 3)  
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[[Kontakion]] (Tone 3) [http://www.oca.org/FSTropars.asp?SID=13&ID=100605]
 
:You illumined the Church with Orthodox doctrine
 
:You illumined the Church with Orthodox doctrine
 
:and taught all to venerate and honor the precious image of Christ.
 
:and taught all to venerate and honor the precious image of Christ.
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:Therefore we cry to you:
 
:Therefore we cry to you:
 
:"Rejoice, wise Father Tarasius."
 
:"Rejoice, wise Father Tarasius."
==External link==
 
*[http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=100605 St Tarasius the Archbishop of Constantinople] – [OCA] Website
 
 
  
 
{{start box}}
 
{{start box}}
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before=[[Paul IV of Constantinople|Paul IV]]|
 
before=[[Paul IV of Constantinople|Paul IV]]|
 
title=[[List of Patriarchs of Constantinople|Patriarch of Constantinople]]|
 
title=[[List of Patriarchs of Constantinople|Patriarch of Constantinople]]|
years=784 – 806 |
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years=784-806|
after=[[Nicephorus I of Constantinople| Nicephorus I]]}}
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after=[[Nicephorus I of Constantinople|Nicephorus I]]}}
{{end box}}
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{{end box}}  
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==Sources==
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*[http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsLife.asp?FSID=100605 OCA: St Tarasius the Archbishop of Constantinople]
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*[[Wikipedia:Patriarch_Tarasios_of_Constantinople]]
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==External links==
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*[http://www.westsrbdio.org/prolog/my.html?month=February&day=25 Saint Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople] (''[[Prologue of Ohrid]]'')
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*[[Wikipedia:Theodote]]
  
 
[[Category:Bishops]]
 
[[Category:Bishops]]
 
[[Category:Patriarchs of Constantinople]]
 
[[Category:Patriarchs of Constantinople]]
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[[Category:8th-9th-century bishops]]
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[[Category:Saints]]
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[[Category:Byzantine Saints]]
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[[Category:9th-century saints]]

Revision as of 10:31, October 24, 2012

St. Tarasius of Constantinople

Our father among the saints Tarasius of Constantinople, (Greek: Ταράσιος), was the Patriarch of Constantinople from 784 to 806. He accepted the see of Constantinople on the condition that a council, the Seventh Ecumenical Council, be convened to settle the issue of veneration of icons. His feast day is February 25.

Contents

Life

Tarasius is believed to have been born about 730, in Constantinople, the son of a high ranking judge. He was of illustrious lineage, related to important families including the family of the future Patriarch Photius the Great. He received a fine education and embarked on a career in the secular administration of the empire. He was promoted rapidly at the court of the emperor Constantine VI and his mother, the Empress Irene. He attained the rank of senator and eventually became imperial secretary (asekretis) to Constantine VI and his mother, Irene.

At that time the Church was agitated by the turmoil of the iconoclast disturbances. Patriarch Paul IV, who had formerly supported Iconoclasm but later repented, resigned his office due to old age and illness. He withdrew to a monastery, where he took the schema. When the Empress Irene and her son Constantine came to him for advice concerning the patriarchate, Paul told them that his most worthy successor would be Tarasius, who at the time was still a layman. Even though he was a layman, he, like all educated Byzantines, was well versed in theology, and the election of qualified laymen as bishops was not unheard of in the history of the Church.

When approached by the emperor and empress, Tarasius refused the position for a long time, considering himself unworthy of the high office. In time, he gave in with the condition that an Ecumenical Council be convened to address the Iconoclast heresy.

Beginning as a layman, Tarasius was taken quickly through the Holy Orders, ordained first a deacon, then a priest, before consecration as bishop. On December 25, 784, Bp. Tarasius was enthroned as patriarch of Constantinople

On August 17, 786, the council was convened in the Church of the Holy Apostles to consider the issue of iconoclasm. However, the council was suddenly invaded by mutinous troops who dispersed the delegates. It wasn't until the following year, in September 787, that the council was again convened, this time in Nicea. In attendance were 367 bishops. With Patr. Tarasius presiding, the council, known also as the Second Council of Nicea, condemned Iconoclasm and formally approved the veneration of icons. Patr. Tarasius assumed a moderate policy towards the former Iconoclasts, which caused the opposition of Theodore the Studite and his partisans. However, those bishops who repented of their iconoclasm were again received by the Church.

About a decade later, in January 795, Tarasius became involved in emperor Constantine's divorce of his wife, Maria of Amnia. By the divorce, emperor Constantine slandered his spouse, the empress Maria, the granddaughter of St. Philaretos the Merciful, so that he could send Maria to a monastery and free himself to marry his own kinswoman, Theodote. The monastic community was scandalized. Patr Tarasius, however, refused to dissolve the marriage of the emperor, for which he fell into disgrace. Soon, however, Constantine was deposed by his own mother, the Empress Irene.

Patr. Tarasius led the Church for twenty-two years. He lived a strict ascetic life. Frugally, he spent his money on God-pleasing ends, feeding and giving comfort to the aged, to the impoverished, and to widows and orphans. On Holy Pascha, he set out a meal for them, that he served himself. Tarasius continued to serve loyally through the subsequent imperial regimes of Irene and Nikephoros I. His ability to work with three different monarchs contributed to his continuation in office until his death.

Patr. Tarasius reposed on February 25, 806 in Constantinople. He was buried in a monastery he built on the Bosphorus.

Hymns

Troparion (Tone 4) [1]

You appeared to your flock as a rule of faith,
An image of humility and a teacher of abstinence.
Because of your lowliness, Heaven was opened to you.
Because of your poverty, riches were granted to you.
O holy bishop, Tarasius, pray to Christ our God to save our souls!

Troparion (Tone 3) [2]

You shone forth as a light of the Spirit,
Adorned with an exemplary life and clothed in hierarchical vesture.
You stilled the turbulence of heresy
And became a pillar and foundation of the Church,
Which praises your struggles, holy Father Tarasius.

Kontakion (Tone 3) [3]

You illumined the Church with Orthodox doctrine
and taught all to venerate and honor the precious image of Christ.
You vanquished the godless doctrine of the iconoclasts.
Therefore we cry to you:
"Rejoice, wise Father Tarasius."
Succession box:
Tarasius of Constantinople
Preceded by:
Paul IV
Patriarch of Constantinople
784-806
Succeeded by:
Nicephorus I
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