May 3, 2019

Saint Theophanes, Metropolitan of Peritheorion (+ late 14th cent.)

St. Theophanes of Peritheorion (Feast Day - May 3)

Saint Theophanes began as a disciple of Saint Maximos of Kavsokalyva (Jan. 13), and upon meeting him he saw him in a state of ecstasy floating above the ground. As his disciple and future biographer, he witness many wonders in the life of his spiritual father Maximos. Later, as Saint Maximos foretold, he was elected as abbot of Vatopaidi.

Around 1350 he was elected Metropolitan of Peritheorion in Xanthi, which was also foretold to him by Saint Maximos. Near Peritheorion was Mount Papikio, known for its many monasteries and ascetics, and where Saint Maximos had lived in asceticism for a time.

His biography of Saint Maximos was written around 1365, shortly after his death. This work shows him to be a defender of hesychasm, and the conversation he records between Saint Maximos and Saint Gregory of Sinai reveals the depth of his neptic theological teachings. Besides this work, he also wrote a work against the teachings of the Latins, done in a conversational style between an Orthodox and a Latin. Saint Theophanes probably reposed near the end of the fourteenth century.

St. Maximos in ecstasy, as witnessed by St. Theophanes.

Through the efforts of Metropolitan Panteleimon of Xanthi and Peritheorion, as well as Vatopaidi Monastery, the Ecumenical Patriarchate officially listed Saint Theophanes among the saints and was canonized on April 11, 2000. Shortly after this icons were commissioned of him and a Divine Office was composed.