May 12, 2017

Synaxarion of Saint Germanos the Patriarch of Constantinople

St. Germanos of Constantinople (Feast Day - May 12)


Germanos rejoiced to leave the earth and his earthly throne,
The earth as the throne of the Creator sees and rejoices.

Our Holy Father Germanos lived during the reign of Emperor Anastasios II (713-715) and flourished also under Leo the Isaurian (717-741) and iconoclast. He was the son of Justinian the Patrician, a famous and much talked about man due to his virtues, for during the reign of Emperor Heraclius (641), he gave much of his property to the public. Therefore he astonished the imperial leaders by his piety and virtue. The nephew of Heraclius, Constantine the Bearded, had him executed and killed, saying that he tried to rise up against his rule. Thus Saint Germanos, his son, was made a eunuch and numbered among the clergy of the most-holy Church. The Saint dealt with the fact that he was made a eunuch by considering it something profitable for himself, therefore he gave himself over to the study and contemplation of the divine Scriptures. Thus the renowned one arrived at a great height of divine knowledge due to his sharp nature and his constant labor and pursuit.

Considered to be a good man in life, first he was ordained Bishop of Cyzicus in the year 714, not by becoming a Deacon then a Priest then a Bishop in one day, but successively and with time in between giving him enough time to go through each stage. Because the Church of Christ at that time needed the care and administration of a sensible and knowledgeable man, ornamented with discourse and action, such as this Saint, for this reason he was elevated from Cyzicus to the throne of Constantinople. By his many teachings the blessed one restored the people of the Lord, and interpreted the deep and obscure meanings of Scripture. And he decorated the churches of the faithful, with panegyric and encomiastic discourses. He sweetened them with melodies and songs and hymns both hard and deep for the festal vigils.

Leo the Isaurian, instead of just being emperor and monarch, also became a harsh tyrant, and he began an assault against God: for the rebellious one endeavored to reject the sacred and holy icons, which depict the Son of God in the flesh, and he was persuaded neither by the teachings or proofs from Scripture that holy icons must be honored and venerated. Not only did he do this, but the impious one also burned the books written by Saint Germanos, in which he stood up for the power and authority of Orthodoxy, and rebuked the cacodoxy of the impious heretics and iconoclasts. When these things took place, then Saint Germanos considered that by teaching him he was doing nothing but speaking to a deaf, dumb and drunk man due to his impiety, and to one who did not desire to come to his senses and be corrected.

For this reason he took off his omophorion and placed it on the Holy Altar, and he withdrew from the Patriarchate to go to his family home called Platanias, where he lived in quietude. Attaining therefore to the age of ninety, namely a deep and good old age, the blessed one completed his life and departed to the Lord. His holy relic, not only when it was brought to burial, but also after it was buried, liberated many from their various sicknesses, and every day gushes forth healings towards those who approach it with faith. He was buried at the holy Monastery of Chora. His Synaxis and Feast is celebrated in the most-holy Great Church.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
Let us honour the Church's two divine trumpets, Hierarch Germanos and renowned Epiphanios; one censured Leo in defense of Christ's icon, the other was a scourge of heresies. These two ever intercede for us.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Let us the faithful joyfully praise the two Hierarchs, holy Epiphanios and Germanos; they burned the tongues of the godless, and preached true doctrine for all, who in right faith sing of the great Mysteries.