Sainted Ignatios, Patriarch of Constantinople (847-857; 867-877)

Commemorated on October 23

      Sainted Ignatios, 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 a monastery. 

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