Saint Tarasios Archbishop of Constantinople
Celebration date: 25/02
Saint Tarasios was born, brought up and educated in Constantinople by pious and noble parents, George, a judge and patrician, and Eukratia, and was the uncle of Saint Photios (see February 6). Due to his great education, he was elevated to the position of first secret.
The ecclesiastical circumstances at that time were quite serious. There was still the iconoclast war, and the position of the Orthodox became even more difficult due to the death of Patriarch Paul IV of Cyprus (August 30). Queen Irene the Athenian, who was in charge of her minor son Constantine VI (780 – 798 AD), understood that she needed a church leader with piety, theological training and administrative ability, in order to be able to respond to the circumstances and the problems. This is how Agios Tarasios was elected Patriarch of Constantinople by the laity despite his persistent denials, after receiving a promise from the kings that an Ecumenical Council would be convened to deal with the various theological issues and ecclesiastical issues. The ordination of the new Patriarch took place on December 25, 784 AD.
During his patriarchate, the Saint ensured the restoration of relations with the Western Church under Pope Hadrian I (771 – 795 AD) and the convergence of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, in the year 787 AD, in Nicaea, which condemned the iconoclasts and annulled the iconoclastic Council of the year 754 AD. setting as the basis of the doctrinal definition the relevant writings of Saint John of Damascus (celebrated on December 4). The eighth session of the Synod took place in Constantinople, in the palaces, where kings Irene and Constantine signed the Terms of the Synod.
The care taken by the Church against simony, i.e. financing for the acquisition of ecclesiastical positions and especially episcopal positions, is due to the Saint’s piety and ecclesiastical ethos. At the same time, the Saint developed rich charitable and social activities and distinguished himself for his charity towards the poor.
His love for monasticism was also expressed with the establishment of a Monastery in the Bosphorus Strait, in which he was buried after his ossuary sleep on Wednesday of the 1st week of Lent, in the year 806 AD. Emperor Michael I Ragaves (811 – 813 AD) in March of the year 813 AD. he covered the Saint’s tomb with silver, thus showing both he and Queen Procopia their respect for the Saint’s memory.
The Synagogue of Agios Tarasios was held in the Great Church.