April 18, 2011

Saint Cyril VI, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ April 18, 1821)

St. Cyril the New Hieromartyr of Pythio (Feast Day - April 18 or Sunday of St. Thomas)

The Holy Hieromartyr and Ecumenical Patriarch Cyril was born in Adrianople around 1769. He was enthroned as Metropolitan of Iconium and later transferred to Andrionople. He was Ecumenical Patriarch from 1813 till 1818, at which time he was removed by the Turks. He was exiled to his hometown, where he was martyred by hanging on the Monday of Saint Thomas, 18 April 1821. This was nine days following the martyrdom of Ecumenical Patriarch Gregory V (+ April 10, 1821).

His holy relic was thrown into the Ebro (Iberus) River, but Divine Providence took care to bank it by a tree near the village Pythio. He was buried in this border village in Thrace and thereafter performed miracles to benefit the pious people. In Pythio a church was erected in his honor. His memory is celebrated on April 18, but also celebrates the Sunday after Pascha.

A brief biography of the Saint has been published together with authentic eyewitness testimony about the many miracles done by the him through the grace of his holy relics. A portion of the holy relic was preserved and venerated at the Skete of Saint Demetrios which is under Vatopaidi Monastery on Mount Athos, but today is kept at the Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi, where there is a small silver reliquary with a small piece of the holy relic and an old manuscript that says St. Cyril suffered martyrdom in April 18, 1821.

On June 26, 1988 a chapel to the Saint was founded at the expense of Ms. Lina Kallas-Hajji in memory of her husband and her parents. The tomb of the Saint opened on 11 May 1989, at which time his relics began to give off myrrh that gave off a fragrance throughout Pythio. On September 8, 1991 the church was dedicated. Finally on July 8, 1993 the Holy Synod of Greece ranked the Holy New Hieromartyr Cyril VI, Patriarch of Constantinople, to the List of Saints of the Church.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos

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Απολυτίκιον Ήχος α’. Της ερήμου πολίτης.
Βυζαντίου τον θρόνον αρεταίς κατεκόσμησας, Ανδριανουπόλεως θρέμμα, Ιερότατε Κύριλλε· ζηλώσας, γαρ τας τρίβους αθλητών δεινώς αγχόνη ηωρήθης απηνώς και Πυθίου ανεδείχθης πανσθενουργός προστάτης· όθεν κράζομεν· Δόξα τω σε δοξάσαντι Χριστώ, δόξα τω σε κραταιώσαντι, δόξα τω νεοάθλων κοινωνόν σε αναδείξαντι.

Κοντάκιον Ήχος πλ. δ΄. Τη Υπερμάχω.
Τον Πατριάρχην τον φιλόθεον και άριστον οφθέντα πάσιν αθλητήν εγκωμιάσωμεν, Βυζαντίου τον κοσμήτορα και ποιμένα αληθή του εν πικρά δουλεία στένοντος ορθοδόξων δήμου, θείοις μελωδήμασιν ανακράζοντες· Χαίροις, πάντιμε Κύριλλε.

Χαίροις, ο προθύμως αποκτανθείς ως ποιμήν, θεόφρον, Εκκλησίας Χριστού καλός, Κύριλλε τρισμάκαρ, υπέρ του σου ποιμνίου Αγαρηνών προτάσσων την ιταμότητα.