October 27, 2017

Saint Kyriakos, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 230)

St. Kyriakos of Byzantium (Feast Day - October 27)


Kyriakos departed the earth and life,
To be present with the Lord of Lords.

Saint Kyriakos, also called Kyrillianos, is called the "Patriarch of Constantinople" in the Synaxarion of Constantinople, more than a century before Byzantium was called Constantinople and the Bishop of that area was known as a Patriarch. In fact, Saint Kyriakos was known as the Bishop of Argyropolis and the sixteenth successor after the Apostle Stachys, who was the first Bishop of Byzantium ordained by the Apostle Andrew. Kyriakos lived on the opposite shore of Byzantium at the time, so technically he was known as the Bishop of Argyropolis and Byzantium. He became a Bishop in the year 214.

We learn more details of the life of Saint Kyriakos from the life of Saint Kastinos (Jan. 25), who became the successor of Kyriakos. There we learn that Kastinos was a wealthy pagan senator from Rome who became oppressed by demons. This oppression led him into despair, until he heard of Bishop Kyriakos who lived on the opposite shore of Byzantium, and of his reputation as a wonderworker. Leaving Rome he went to meet the Bishop, and when he arrived he fell at his feet and begged for him to cure him. Immediately the Bishop freed him of demonic oppression, and baptized him.

The blessed Kyriakos had the gift of foreknowledge, and knowing that Kastinos would one day lead the Christians of that community, he taught Kastinos the entire knowledge of the Church and about pastoral care. Prior to his death, Kyriakos ordained Kastinos the Bishop of Argyropolis and Byzantium, saying to him the following: "Make the effort to transfer the church of Argyropolis to the opposite land of Byzantium; as this was revealed to me by God many years ago."

After serving the flock of Christ for sixteen years, Saint Kyriakos reposed. Following the repose of Kyriakos in 230, the blessed Kastinos built a church in the northern area of Byzantium, where the governors of Byzantium lay buried. Until his tenure, the cathedral had been near the sea in the area of present Galatas. He therefore transferred his see from Argyropolis to Byzantium, and was thus the seventeenth bishop of Byzantium after the Apostle Stachys.