The Monk Platon (Plato)

Commemorated on April 5

      The Monk Platon (Plato) was born in the year 735 into a pious Christian family of the parents, Sergios and Euphemia. Orphaned early on, the boy was taken for raising by relatives, who gave him a fine education. When he grew up he began life on his own. The saint occupied himself in the first years in the management of his property, which his parents had left him upon their death. He was very temperate and hard-working and acquired by his toil great wealth. But in his heart the monk-to-be blazed with love for Christ. He gave away all his property, set his servants free and withdrew into a monastery named "Ensymboleion" near Mount Olympos.
      His prayerful zeal, love of work and geniality won him the love of the brethren. In his free moments from prayer the monk copied Divine-service books, and compiled anthologies from the works of the holy fathers. When the head of the monastery Theoktistos died in 770, the brethren chose the Monk Platon as hegumen, despite that he was a mere 35 years of age. after the death of the emperor Constantine Kopronymos (775), the Monk Platon set out to Constantinople. He resigned from the administration of the Nicomedia metropolitan and in 782 together with his nephews Saints Theodore (+ 826, Comm. 11 November) and Joseph (+ 830, Comm. 26 January), he withdrew to the desolate place of Sokudion. They built on the mount a church in honour of the holy Apostle John the Theologian, and founded a monastery, the head of which became the Monk Platon. When Saint Tarasios together with the empress Irene convened in Nicea in 787 the Seventh OEcumenical Council, the Monk Platon took an active part in its work. Being learned and erudite in Holy Scripture, he successfully unmasked the error in the Iconoclast heresy and defended the veneration of holy icons. When the Monk Platon approached old age, he transferred guidance of the monastery to the Monk Theodore.
      In 795 the emperor Constantine VI (78-797) by force compelled his spouse to accept monasticism and decided to marry with one of his kinswomen, Theodotia.
      Even though the holy Patriarch Tarasios condemned this marriage, one of the conspicuous Constantinople priests, Joseph, violated the prohibition of the Patriarch and celebrated the marriage of the emperor.
      Having learned of this, the Monks Platon and Theodore excommunicated the emperor from the Church and dispatched a letter about this to all the monks. The enraged emperor gave orders to lock up Saint Platon in prison and to banish the Monk Theodore to Soluneia. Only after the death of the emperor in 797 did they receive their freedom. The Monk Theodore settled in Constantinople and became hegumen of the Studite monastery. The Monk Platon lived as a simple monk at this monastery under the obedience of his nephew.
      When the new emperor Nicephoros (802-811) on his own returned to the Church the excommunicated priest Joseph, the Monks Platon and Theodore again came forward with a denunciation of the unlawful activities of the emperor. For this the brave confessors were again in 807 subjected to punishment. They were imprisoned for four years. The Monk Platon was freed from imprisonment in 811 after the death of the emperor and he returned to the Studite monastery.
      He survived three years more at work and prayer, and expired to the Lord on Lazarus Saturday at age 79, on 8 April 814. For his fearless speaking out in defense of holy icons, the Monk Platon received the title of "confessor".

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

Close window

                            

Close window