Theophylactus of Nicomedia

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Our father among the saints Theophylactus of Nicomedia was the Bishop of Nicomedia during the late eighth and early ninth centuries. Theophylactus was forced into exile for directly reprimanding emperor Leo V the Armenian for restoring iconoclasm after it was proscribed by the Seventh Ecumenical Council. Si. Theophylactus is commemorated on March 8.


The early years of the life of Theophylactus are not known. Theophylactus, a disciple of Patriarch Tarasius of Constantinople, accepted the monastic habit at a monastery on the Black Sea. After several years in the monastery, Patriarch Tarasius consecrated Theophylactus Bishop of Nicomedia.

As Bishop of Nicomedia, Theophylactus cared for his flock. He sponsored the building of churches, hospices, homes for wanderers. He showed great compassion, generously distributed alms, and was a guardian of orphans, widows, and the sick. He personally attended those afflicted with leprosy, not hesitating to wash their wounds.

With the ascension, in 813, of the iconoclast emperor Leo V the Armenian to the imperial throne iconoclasm became virulent once again. Patr. Nicephorus, who had succeeded Patr. Tarasius in 806, and the other bishops in Constantinople could not sway Leo from destroying the peace that had come to the Church following the Council of 787. Bp. Theophylactus was in the meeting at which the patriarch and bishops were negotiating with emperor Leo. When Leo would not retract from his position, Bp. Theophylactus said to him: "O king, great destruction will come upon you, and you will not find anyone to deliver you from it." For his bold prophecy St. Theophylactus was, at the Emperor's command, deposed as bishop and sent into exile to the fortress Strobil in Asia Minor. There he spent thirty years enduring many difficulties and insults until his death. He reposed around the year 845.

In the year 847, the veneration of icons was restored under the empress St .Theodora and her son Michael and the holy relics of St. Theophylactus were returned to Nicomedia.

Succession box:
Theophylactus of Nicomedia
Preceded by:
Bishop of Nicomedia
Succeeded by:
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