St. Eftychios icon

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Orthodox icon of Saint Eutychius, Eftychios, Patriach of Constantinople.

Commemorated April 6.

Saint Eutychius, Archbishop of Constantinople, who was born in a village called Divine in the province of Phrygia. His father Alexander was a soldier, and his mother Synesia was the daughter of the priest Hesychius of Augustopolis. When the Fifth Ecumenical Council prepared to assemble during the reign of the holy emperor Justinian (527-565), the Metropolitan of Amasea was ill and he sent St Eutychius in his place.

At Constantinople the aged Patriarch St Menas (August 25) saw St Eutychius and predicted that he would be the next Patriarch. After the death of the holy Patriarch Menas, the Apostle Peter appeared in a vision to the emperor Justinian and, pointing his hand at Eutychius, said, him be made your bishop. At the very beginning of his patriarchal service, St Eutychius convened the Fifth Ecumenical Council (553), at which the Fathers condemned the heresies cropping up and anathematized them.

However, after several years a new heresy arose in the Church: imperishability which taught that the flesh of Christ, before His death on the Cross and Resurrection, was imperishable and not capable of suffering. St Eutychius vigorously denounced this heresy, but the emperor Justinian himself inclined toward it, and turned his wrath upon the saint. By order of the emperor, soldiers seized the saint in the church, removed his patriarchal vestments, and sent him into exile to an Amasean monastery (565).

The saint bore his banishment with meekness, and lived at the monastery in fasting and prayer, and he worked many miracles and healings. During the Persian invasion of Amasea and its widespread devastation, they distributed grain to the hungry from the monastery granaries on the saint's orders, and by his prayers, the stores of grain at the monastery were not depleted. After the death of the holy Patriarch John Scholastikos, St Eutychius returned to the cathedra in 577 after his twelve year exile, and he again wisely ruled his flock.

Four and a half years after his return to the Patriarchal throne, St Eutychius gathered together all his clergy on Thomas Sunday 582, blessed them, and peacefully fell asleep in the Lord.