July 18, 2018

Saints Stephen II the Archbishop of Constantinople and John the Metropolitan of Chalcedon


The two Bishops were released from the earth,
Having come to behold the noetic Bishop.

Our Holy Father Stephen was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 29 June 925 to 18 July 928. Before this appointment he served as the Metropolitan of Amasea, which was also his homeland. He appears to have been appointed to the post by Romanos I Lekapenos after the death of Patriarch Nicholas Mystikos as a stop-gap until Romanos's own son, Theophylaktos, was old enough to assume the post; he was only seven years old. According to Steven Runciman, "Boy-bishops, such as were common in the West, shocked the more civilized sentiment of the East; and so Romanos had to choose Stephen of Amasea. To be patriarch then was a task requiring tact; but Stephen did his duty, lived insignificantly and died well in time - too well, in fact, for in July, 928, the date of his death, Theophylaktos was still impossibly young." Elsewhere Runciman calls him a "deliberate nonentity".

Our Holy Father John seems to have been Metropolitan of Chalcedon during the period of Iconoclasm. It is he who perhaps Saint Theodore the Studite spoke of when he said that he "shined forth in confession and bore a crown." He was among the prominent ecclesiastics of his time, appearing in various sources, especially in Letters 245 and 312 of Theodore the Studite. A former member of the Senate, his secular surname was Kamoulianos. A Canon was composed in his honor.