November 16, 2017

Saint Thomas II the New, Patriarch of Constantinople (+ 669)

St. Thomas II of Constantinople (Feast Day - November 16)


Thomas departed this measured life,
Fittingly finding life without measure.

Thomas II was elected Patriarch of Constantinople six months and sixteen days after the death of his predecessor, Patriarch Peter. He ruled for three years (according to Theophanes), or two years and seven months (according to Nikephoros), or four years and seven months (according to the Leoglavious list).

He was ordained on the Holy Saturday (April 17) of 667 (according to others 665), and fell asleep on November 15, 669 (according to others 668). Previously, he was Deacon and Chartophylax. Nikephoros Kallistos writes that Thomas II came from the Diaconate and was a scribe, a refendarius, a chancellor of the Patriarchate, and director of the Skala Gerokomeion (old age home) and of the Neapolis Ptochotropheion (poor house).

He sent his synodal letter to Pope Vitalian, but it never reached Rome, because of the war raging at the time in the Mediterranean between the Byzantine Romans and the Arabs. This letter was read on March 28, 681 during the thirteenth session of the Sixth Ecumenical Synod, and its content was considered orthodox. During this same session, it was established that he had left no written evidence of any adherence to Monothelitism. Thus he escaped the condemnation for heresy that struck his four predecessors, and was later counted among the saints.

We know little more about Thomas II, other than he was pious, as was his successor. The Orthodox Church celebrates his memory on the 16th of November (though some celebrate him on either the 14th or 15th of November).