Monday, February 12, 2018

Saint Anthony II Kauleas, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 901)

St. Anthony II Kauleas of Constantinople (Feast Day - February 12)

Our Holy Father Anthony was born in 829 near Constantinople into a noble family that had moved to the countryside near Constantinople from Phrygia to escape the persecution of the Iconoclasts. Anthony became a monk at a monastery in Constantinople when he was twelve years old. He eventually became the abbot of the monastery, earning a reputation for assistance to the poor. After the restoration of Patriarch Ignatios in 867, Anthony contributed to the reconciliation between the supporters of Patriarchs Photios and Ignatios, both of whom were pursuing the same policies. He came to the attention of Stylianos Zaoutzes, the powerful minister of Roman Emperor Leo VI the Wise, who had ascended to the throne in 886. Anthony supported Leo against Patriarch Photios when Leo replaced Photios with his younger brother Stephen I. Upon the death of Patriarch Stephen I, Anthony was appointed by Leo as Patriarch of Constantinople in 893.

Patriarch Anthony II was a pious man who generously endowed monastic foundations and founded or re-founded the Kaulea Monastery (more accurately called "Kalliou") with the support of the emperor. He devoted himself to restoring harmony within the Church. One of his great accomplishments was to renew ties between the Church and Stylianos Mapas, Metropolitan of Neocaesarea, and members of his anti-Photian party, a move that promoted peaceful relations between Constantinople and the Church of Rome.

Saint Anthony reposed in peace on February 12, 901 in Constantinople and was buried in the church of his monastery. There Saint Anthony was held responsible for various miracles after his repose. Nikephoros Gregoras the Philosopher offered an encomium in his honor.* There it says "he had the discretion of a pure mind that keeps its balance and is not deceived;" and, "his happy and praiseworthy life was a credit to all." After 1192, the Kaulea Monastery was renamed after its founder, Saint Anthony.**

Notes:

* Read the encomium here.

** St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite says that based on the biographical information of the Synaxarion of Constantinople, the Anthony that should be commemorated on this day is Patriarch Anthony III the Studite of Constantinople, who reposed in 983. Due to this, the iambic verses are reserved for the latter.


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