Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 14 June – St Methodius I of Constantinople (8th Cent – 847) “Defender of Icons”

St Methodius I of Constantinople (8th Cent – 14 June 847) Monk and and Patriarch of Constantinople, “Defender of Icons”  – born in the 8th century at Syracuse, Sicily and died in 847 of natural causes, in Constantinople.

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Methodius was born in Syracuse, Sicily and was educated there.   As a young man he went to Constantinople to seek a position in the imperial court but on his way, met a holy monk who so impressed him, that he decided instead to become a monk himself.   He built a monastery on the Greek island of Chios and remained there until he was called to Constantinople by the patriarch, St Nicephorus, who wanted Methodius to help him in the fight against the iconoclasts “those heretics who demanded the destruction of all sacred images on the false presumption that the faithful worshipped the images, not God.”  Both Methodius and Nicephorus boldly stood up against the iconoclasts, defending the attempt of Christian artists to inspire the faithful by means of beautiful images.

When Emperor Leo the Armenian deposed Nicephorus and sent him into exile, Methodius went to Rome to report to Pope St Paschal I on the destruction of sacred images.   He returned in 821 with a letter from the pope to Michael the Stammerer, the new emperor, requesting that Nicephorus be reinstated and allowed to return to his see. Instead, the emperor condemned Methodius as a seditionist and ordered that he be scourged and exiled to prison.   He was imprisoned for seven years;  when released, he was almost skeleta, but his spirit remained undaunted.   He resumed his opposition to iconoclasm under Emperor Theophilus and when called before the emperor, boldly stated, “If an image is so worthless in your eyes, how is it that when you condemn the images of Christ you do not condemn the veneration paid to representations of yourself?   Far from doing so, you are continually causing them to be multiplied.”

Upon the death of the emperor in 842, his widow Theodora became regent for her infant son, Michael III.   She repealed all decrees against sacred images and named Methodius Patriarch of Constantinople, replacing the iconoclast supporter, John the Grammarian.

In the remaining five years of his life, Methodius convoked a synod at Constantinople that endorsed the decrees of the Second Council of Nicaea declaring icons lawful in the church.   An annual Feast of Orthodoxy, still observed in the Byzantine Church on the first Sunday of Lent, was instituted to stress the lawfulness of venerating sacred images.

Saint Methodius, who died of dropsy in 847, was said to have been a prolific writer, especially of hymns but we possess only fragments of his many works, including a complete Life of St Theophanes.

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Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair both with God and Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, our most Blessed and Beloved Virgin Mother Mary and the Church. "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco With the Saints, we "serve the Lord with one consent and serve the Lord with one pure language, not indeed to draw them forth from their secure dwelling-places, not superstitiously to honour them, or wilfully to rely on the, ... but silently to contemplate them for edification, thereby encouraging our faith, enlivening our patience..." Blessed John Henry Newman Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This is a papal fidelity site. Loyal and Obedient to the Current Pope and to the Magisterium United With Him.

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