May 7, 2019

Saint Tarasios the Wonderworker of Lycaonia

St. Tarasios of Lycaonia (Feast Day - May 7);
Photo shows altar in the Chapel of Saint Tarasios in Venice.


Accomplishing austere asceticism Tarasios,
You received the power for many miracles.
Maternaly Lycaonia cries out "Rejoice",
Venerable Spirit-bearer Tarasios.
On the seventh you entered the place of rest,
Venerable Tarasios, friend of peace.

Venerable Tarasios is commemorated on May 8th in Hippolyte Delehaye's Synaxarion, while the Lavra Codex I 70 f. 217b has him under May 7th with the following information about him:

"From childhood our Holy Father was a chosen vessel and became an ornament. Through hard work, fasting, prayer, tears, lying on the ground, giving himself over to every maltreatment and hardship, and by his extreme virtue he was made worthy to work the great wonders of God: he banished demons, raised the dead, cleansed lepers, healed sufferings that could not be treated, and simply every disease and sickness he cured. With all these good things he contended with a small ailment, and foreknowing his departure to the Lord God, he departed in earnest with the holy angels, who received his honorable soul."

The relics of the Saint were brought from Constantinople to Venice probably during the reign of Emperor Basil II the Bulgar-slayer, between the years 1018 and 1025, during the time of Doge Otto Orseolo. It was believed and still believed these were the relics of Patriarch Tarasios of Constantinople, but this is false. Some enterprising Venetians merchants and priests in Constantinople located the body in a monastery near the city and concocted a plan to steal it. Surreptitiously they moved the remains of Tarasios to an awaiting ship belonging to Domenico Dandolo, who then transported it back to Venice. Dandolo was greeted with hosannahs and the body was transported with great ceremony to the Convent of San Zaccaria. This signaled the rise to prominence of the Dandolo family, one of whom, Enrico Dandolo, would mastermind the Fourth Crusade and oversee the sack of Constantinople in 1204. Today the sacred relic is in the Church of San Zaccaria in Venice, in the Chapel of Saint Tarasios, on or inside the altar.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
From childhood Tarasios you loved God, the tumults and cares of the world, you voluntarily abandoned, and tracing the steps of the divine Ascetics, you hastened to most excellently follow; wherefore you received the power to work miracles, and the grace of the Spirit. Rejoice luminary of Lycaonia, rejoice dignity of the Venerables, rejoice the rule of self-control, the seal of asceticism.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Your honorable labors, you progressed in, ascetic Tarasios, loudly I sing a hymn, worthy wonderworker, crying out: Rejoice, glory of the Venerables.

Rejoice lover of asceticism, lamp of self-control, teacher of silence, wonder-bearing luminary, of Lycaonia, Tarasios the dignity of the Venerables.