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St. Nikephorus of Constantinople

Saint Nikephorus of Constantinople

Bishop & Confessor

Nikephorus was born to a pious Greek noble family around the year 758. His father was a former imperial secretary who had suffered for opposing iconoclasm. Nikephorus became an imperial secretary himself, and attended the Second Council of Nicaea representing the Empress Irene, who called the council in support of the veneration of icons. After the council, Nikephorus sought solitude at a monastery by the Black Sea, until he was summoned back to Constantinople to administer the city’s hospital. When the Patriarch St. Tarasios died in 806, Nikephorus was chosen his successor, though he was still a layman, on account of his great piety and learning. Nikephorus received Holy Orders and took the office, but struggled against ecclesiastical rivals, iconoclast heretics, and political intrigues, until he was forced to resign and banished to his old monastery. Nikephorus continued to write in defense of icons, refusing to compromise in return for freedom. He died a holy death at the monastery in the year of Our Lord 828. This feast marks the day his relics were translated back to the imperial capital; he is also honored on June 2nd.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for March 13th

AT Nicomedia, the birthday of the holy martyrs Macedonius, his wife Patritia, and their daughter Modesta.

At Nicaea, the holy martyrs Theuseta, and Horres, his son, Theodora, Nimphodora, Marcus, and Arabia, who were burned to death for Christ.

At Hermopolis, in Egypt, the martyr St. Sabinus, who after many sufferings, terminated his martyrdom by being precipitated into a river.

In Persia, St. Christina, virgin and martyr.

At Cordova, the holy martyrs Rudericus, priest, and Solomon.

At Constantinople, the bishop St. Nicephorus. In defense of the traditions of his forefathers and of the worship of sacred images, he opposed firmly the Iconoclast emperor Leo the Armenian, by whom he was sent into exile, where he underwent a long martyrdom of fourteen years, and departed for the kingdom of God.

At Camerino, St. Ansovinus, bishop and confessor.

In Thebais, St. Euphrasia, virgin.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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