The PriestMartyr Euthymios, Bishop of Sardica

Commemorated on December 26

      The PriestMartyr Euthymios, Bishop of Sardica, during the period of the reign of the Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrigenitos (780-797) and the empress Irene (797-802), was chosen bishop of Sardica because of his virtuous life. He was also present at the Seventh OEcumenical Council (787), at which he denounced the Iconoclast heresy. When the Iconoclast emperor Nicephoros I (802-811) came to rule, Saint Euthymios together with other Orthodox hierarchs was banished to the island of Patalareia, where he languished for a long time. Recalled from exile by the emperor Leo V (813-820), the bishop again boldly entered into denunciation of the Iconoclast heresy, and they again sent him into exile to the city of Assia. The next emperor – Michael II the Stutterer (820-829) again demanded that he renounce icon-veneration, but without success. Then the holy martyr was subjected to flogging and banished for a third time, to the island of Crete. Michael was succeeded on the throne by the Iconoclast emperor Theophilos (829-842), upon whose order Saint Euthymios was subjected to cruel tortures: they stretched him on four poles and beat at him with ox thongs. Saint Euthymios reposed to the Lord several days after the torture.

© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.