Commemorated on October 23
Patriarch of Constantinople (847-857; 867-877), in the world Nikita, was of
imperial lineage. When his father, the emperor Michael I (811-813), was deposed
from the imperial throne by Leo the Armenian (813-820), the 15 year old youth
Ignatios was imprisoned in a monastery. Life in the monastery strengthened
Saint Ignatios in faith and in piety. Soon he was made hegumen of the
monastery, and later on he was chosen Patriarch of Constantinople.
The emperor Michael
III (855-867) was still a minor in age, and the country was actually governed
by his uncle, Bardas – a man impious and unchaste. The holy patriarch urged
Bardas to forsake his sinful life, and he boldly denounced him in his iniquity.
When Bardas attempted to force Saint Ignatios to impose monastic tonsure upon
the holy Empress Theodora, – mother of the emperor, so as to remove her from
governance of the realm, holy Patriarch Ignatios did not only not consent to
this, but also publicly excommunicated Bardas from Communion. They tortured the
holy patriarch for fifteen days to force him to resign, and then they sent him
off into exile. When the new emperor came to power, Saint Ignatios was recalled
from prison, and was Patriarch for another 10 years. He died in the year 877 in
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.