January 26, 2016

Commemoration of the Great Earthquake of Constantinople (mid-5th cent.)

Great Earthquake of Constantinople (Feast Day - January 26)


You shook but again halted the earth O Word,
Your compassion being greater than Your wrath.

During the final years of the reign of Emperor Theodosius II (408-450), on a Sunday, at the second hour, there occurred such a great earthquake in Constantinople, that it destroyed the city walls, together with many homes and neighborhoods of the city. Extensive damage was especially suffered from the port of Troas to the copper Tetrapylon.

Aftershocks rumbled throughout the city for three months. The emperor than called for a procession to be formed with all the people participating. Theodosius then prayed to God with tears in his eyes, saying: "Redeem us, O Lord, and grant forgiveness of our sins. In You righteous judgment and indignation these punishments have justly come upon us, since our sins have shaken and sundered the earth. But do forgive us that we may glorify You, our only good God and the lover of mankind."