St. Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople was of illustrious lineage. He was born and raised in Constantinople, where he received a fine education. He was rapidly promoted at the court of emperor Constantine VI (780-797) and Constantine’s mother, the holy Empress Irene, and the saint attained the rank of senator. Proceeding through all the clerical ranks in a short while, St. Tarasius was elevated to the patriarchal throne in the year 784. In the year 787, the Seventh Ecumenical Council was convened in the city of Nicaea, with Patriarch Tarasius presiding and 367 bishops attending. The veneration of holy icons was confirmed at this council ending the iconoclasm heresy. St. Tarasius wisely governed the Church for twenty-two years. He led a strict ascetic life. He spent all his money on God-pleasing ends, feeding and giving comfort to the aged, of the impoverished, to widows and orphans, and on Holy Pascha he set out a meal for them, and he served them himself. St. Tarasius died in the year 806. Mourned by the Church, he was buried in a monastery he built on the Bosphorus. Many miracles took place at his tomb.
The sincerity of your deeds has revealed you to your people as a teacher of moderation, a model of faith, and an example of virtue. Therefore, you attained greatness through humility, and wealth through poverty. O father and archbishop Tarasius, ask Christ our God to save our souls.
O blessed Tarasius, you filled the Church with joy by preaching holy doctrine. You taught us all to bow before the venerable icon of Christ and to honor it. You vanquished the iconoclastic heresy. Therefore, we cry out: Rejoice, Tarasius, our wise father.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Thursday, February 24 –