Saint German Patriarch of Constantinople
Celebration date: 12/05
Saint Germanos was born in Constantinople in 640 AD. His father was the patrician Justinian, who brought him up with great piety. At the age of twenty he was orphaned by his father, who was killed by Constantine Pogonatos (668 – 685 AD), after he included him among those who killed his father. After castrating the German, he classified him among the clergy of the Church.
He, famous for his virtue, education and sanctity of life, was elected metropolitan of Cyzicus, in the 37th year of his age. Later, when he became a widower of the patriarchal throne, with the opinion of King Anastasios and the vote of the senate, the clergy and the people, he ascended to the universal throne (715 AD).
From this position, he devoted all his spiritual and moral powers, teaching and admonishing the people with his constant sermons. Then, when the iconoclastic emperor Leo Isaurus told him to comply with his impious edicts, he not only disobeyed, but incited the people to revolt. He was thus forced to resign, after depositing his shoulder on the Holy Bench.
He retired to a paternal estate, Platania, and after a short illness, died at the age of 100 on May 12, 740 AD. His burial took place in the Monastery of Chora.
While he was initially deposed and anathematized by the pseudo-council of the Priesthood in 754 AD, he was subsequently vindicated and glorified by the Seventh Ecumenical Council in 787 AD, which condemned the iconoclasts and restored the holy icons. During the Patriarchate of the Saint, when in 718 AD Constantinople was saved from a barbarian raid, the Akathistos Hymn was completed by Saint Andrew of Crete.
Agios Germanos left behind a remarkable hymnographic and writing work, but unfortunately most of his works were burned by order of Leo. Of the hymns, 104 Verses and 22 Canons, the following have survived from his writings: a) “On Sects and Synods”, b) “Three doctrinal epistles on iconoclasts” (to John, Bishop of Synades, to Constantine, Bishop of Nacalia, and to Thoman, Bishop of Claudiopolis), c) “Eight reasons” (two on the adoration of the Holy Cross on the day of the Cross and on Holy Saturday, two on the Entrances of the Virgin, three on the Dormition of the Virgin and one on Evangelism of the Theotokos), d)”Speech” (at the inauguration of the temple of the Theotokos and the holy crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ).
The Synagogue of Agios Germanos was held in the Great Church.