April 1, 2017

Synaxarion of Saint Makarios the Confessor, Abbot of Pelekete

St. Makarios the Confessor (Feast Day - April 1)


Makarios lived a blessed life,
Now Makarios dwells in a blessed land.

Our Holy Father Makarios was from Constantinople, who became an orphan when he was an infant, which is why he was raised by his lawful uncle, and was given over to an education in sacred letters. Having a receptive nature and showing great care, for this reason in a short time he came to a knowledge of Holy Scripture, and he came to know perfectly and speedily both of earthly and corruptible things, as well as incorruptible heavenly and eternal things. Thus he departed Constantinople and came to a Monastery called Pelekete. There he was numbered among the Monks, and from the name Christopher he was given the name Makarios when he received the divine and angelic schema. Having served in every ministry of the Monastery, and attained the virtues, especially acquiring much humility, then he became Abbot of the brotherhood, and an extraordinary wonderworker.

Therefore at that time he became great and famous, and numerous crowds of Christians ran to him. Some came to be purified of the passions of their soul by his teachings, and others to receive healing of their physical illnesses in order to return home healthy. This fame of the Saint became known to the most-holy Patriarch Tarasios, who sent for him to come and heal Paul the Patrician, who had a deathly illness and no hope of recovery; of this the Saint healed him. Later his wife who had the same illness, and who remained hopeless in the help of physicians, was also healed by the Saint. When Patriarch Tarasios met him, he ordained him a Priest, and the renowned one was obedient to the will of the Patriarch, for he said: "Because I hate disobedience, and love obedience, which brings life to people." When the Saint returned to his Monastery as a Priest, he acquired even greater humility than before.

After this the scandal-making devil raised up in Constantinople a tyrannical emperor in the year 813, who burned the holy icons, and this was Leo the Armenian, who exiled the most-holy Patriarch Nikephoros. Likewise Bishops and Archimandrites and others were mercilessly beaten, while others were exiled, and others were imprisoned. Then the wondrous Makarios was tormented by the tyrant with various punishments, and was imprisoned, where the renowned one remained until the wicked Leo was killed. Leo was replaced by Emperor Michael the Stammerer in the year 820, and he had the Saint released from prison. Since he also was an iconoclast, for this reason he tried to flatter the Saint, urging him to deny the veneration of holy icons, and he had others try to persuade him also, and after he tried to frighten him. Seeing that he was unable to accomplish this, he had the Saint exiled to the small island of Aphousia, which is near Alona, and is under the Archdiocese of Proikonesos, and there he was kept unharmed. The Saint bravely endured all the hardships of exile, and gave thanks to God. Having spent much time in exile, and struggled much, and worked many miracles, he departed to the Lord.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
You imitated the zeal of Elias the Tishbite, and the character of the Baptist, and with inspired words, Father Makarios, you rebuked impious emperors, and you made firm the faithful in piety, wherefore having been tested by your afflictions, you gloriously passed over to God.

Kontakion in the Third Tone
Today the all-revered memory, of Makarios is celebrated with joy, who much contested and was exiled, for the Church of Christ, for behold, the venerable icons are embellished, for this we cry out: Rejoice, Godly-minded one, the foundation of piety.