April 8, 2021

The Cross of Saint Theophano the Empress

In the year 888, Empress Theophano, wife of Emperor Leo VI the Wise, had a monastery built in Halkidiki dedicated to Saint Anastasia the Pharmakolytria. 
To this Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of Saint Anastasia she gave as gifts the sacred Skull and a portion of the right foot of Saint Anastasia, together with a Crucifix that contains a portion of the True Cross, the sceptre of Emperor Leo the VI the Wise, chrysobulls and other valuables. 
Unfortunately, the sceptre, the chrysobulls and other valuables were destroyed when the Turks set fire to the monastery in June of 1821. 
However, the Crucifix with the portion of the True Cross does still survive and is used in various liturgical services for feasts of the Cross to be venerated by the faithful. 
The sacred relic of Saint Theophano rests today in the Church of Saint George at the Phanar of Constantinople at the Patriarchate. 
Her feast day is December 16th.