June 1, 2019

Holy Hieromartyr and Bishop Pyrros the Virgin

St. Pyrros the Virgin (Feast Day - June 1)


Pyrros stood as a pillar of great purity,
By which he sees God as shining from the earth below.

The Holy Hieromartyr and Bishop Pyrros the Virgin met his end in peace.*


* The exact identity of this Saint is unknown, but it is interesting to point out that there was a Pyrros who was an Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople that died on June 1, 654. The issue with this Pyrros is that he died a Monothelite and excommunicated from the Church, and proclaimed a heretic at the Sixth Ecumenical Synod in 681. If it is this Bishop who is commemorated today, then it is an error for the following reason. While in exile, in 645 he conducted with Saint Maximus the Confessor a public discussion on faith (Disputatio cum Pyrrho), after which he rejected Monothelitism, and visited Rome in 647. Perhaps it is for this reason, as well as his noted chastity, that he is commemorated. However, as history records, from Rome he continued to Ravenna and returned to Constantinople, where he again reversed his position and re-embraced Monothelitism. Therefore, perhaps he is a Monothelite saint that remained in the Orthodox calendar. This is an unsolved mystery and should only be taken as a footnote for speculation.

To add to the curiosity about this Saint, it is ironic that he is called a Hieromartyr in the Synaxarion of Constantinople while he is said to have reposed in peace. Perhaps, if it was the above mentioned Patriarch of Constantinople that we are commemorating, he is called a Hieromartyr for the exile he endured. This is another unsolved mystery about this Saint. Despite all this, he is held up as a "pillar of great purity", and this is what we are called to focus on by commemorating this unknown Bishop.