Sainted Thomas, Patriarch of Constantinople

Commemorated on March 21

      Sainted Thomas, Patriarch of Constantinople, was at first a deacon, and later under the holy Patriarch John IV the Faster (582-595) he was made "sakellarios" (sacristan) in the Great Constantinople church. After the death of holy Patriarch Kyriakos (595-606), Saint Thomas was chosen in 607 to the Constantinople Patriarchal throne. The saint concerned himself in every possible way about the spiritual needs of his flock.
      During the time of the patriarchate of Saint Thomas, an ominous portent appeared in the land of Galatia (Asia Minor). The heavy crosses, which they carried during the times of church processions, began to shake, and to strike and chip at each other. To the Patriarch was summoned the noted perspicacious elder, the Monk Theodore Sikeotes (Comm. 22 April), who explained the meaning of this portent. According to his words, discords and disasters awaited the Church, and the state stood on the eve of destruction from barbarian invasion. Hearing this, the saint became terrified and besought the Monk Theodore Sikeotes to pray for him, that God should instead take his soul early, than for the predicted ruinations to occur.
      After the death of the holy Patriarch Thomas (+ 610), disorders started in the Church. The successor to Saint Thomas, Patriarch Sergios (610-638), fell into the Monothelite heresy. Soon through the sufferance of God and for the extinguishing of the heresy, war started with Persia, which proved grievous for Byzantium. The Greek regions in Asia Minor were completely devastated, Jerusalem fell, and the Life-Creating Cross of the Lord was taken into captivity and carried off to Persia. Thus occurred all the misfortunes, portented by the miracle during the time of the church procession.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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