Acasă > Pagini de Sinaxar > 14 IUNIE: Pomenirea celui între sfinţi Părintelui nostru Metodie, arhiepiscopul Constantinopolului (RO, GR, EN)

14 IUNIE: Pomenirea celui între sfinţi Părintelui nostru Metodie, arhiepiscopul Constantinopolului (RO, GR, EN)

Pomenirea celui între sfinţi Părintelui nostru Metodie, arhiepiscopul Constantinopolului 

14 iunie

Metodie, patriarhul COnstantinopoluluiSfântul Metodie, Patriarhul Constantinopolului, s-a născut în Sicilia, într-o familie bogată. Având vocaţia de a-I sluji lui Dumnezeu, Metodie s-a retras de tânăr într-o mănăstire din insula Kios, pe care a renovat-o din resursele proprii. În vremea iconoclastului Leon Armenianul (813-820), Metodie ocupa înalta funcţie numită în greacă  „apokrisiaros” ( adică avocat pe probleme bisericeşti) sub Sfântul Patriarh Nichifor (prăznuit în 2 iunie). Acesta l-a trimis într-o misiune papală la Roma şi a rămas acolo. Între timp Leo l-a îndepărtat de la patriarhie pe Nichifor înlocuindu-l cu iconoclastul Teodot din Melissinea, care era poreclit „Kassiter” (adică „omul de tablă”) (815-822). După moartea lui Leo Armeanul, Metodie s-a întors ca prezbiter şi a luptat fără încetare împotriva ereziei iconoclaste.

Împăratul Mihail cel Bâlbâit (820-829) s-a dovedit la început părtinitor al celor întemniţaţi pentru venerarea icoanelor, eliberându-i din închisoare, dar s-a răzgândit după o vreme şi a reînceput persecuţia împotriva ortodoxiei. Sfântul Metodie a ajuns după gratii într-o temniţă din Akrita. După moartea lui Mihail, conducător a fost Teofil (829-842), care deşi iconoclast şi el, l-a eliberat totuşi pe Sf. Metodie din temniţă, dovedindu-se un om de caracter şi literat, care l-a apreciat pe Metodie pentru erudiţia sa. Văzându-se liber, Sf. Metodie a reluat lupta împotriva ereticilor, tolerat fiind o vreme de împărat.

Dar, după o înfrângere într-o luptă cu arabii, Teofil şi-a vărsat nervii pe Metodie, spunând că Dumnezeu l-a pedepsit pentru că a lăsat un închinător la icoane să stea în preajma lui. Metodie a încercat să-l facă să înţeleagă că Dumnezeu îl pedepseşte tocmai pentru insulta adusă sfintelor icoane. Dar sfântul n-a obţinut decât ordinul de a fi torturat.Fiind lovit mai mult în faţă, păgânii i-au rupt falca şi i-au lăsat cicatrice îngrozitoare pe faţă. Metodie a fost transferat pe insula Antigonos şi închis într-o peşteră adâncă împreună cu doi tâlhari, unde a stat fără să vadă lumina zilei timp de şapte ani, până la moartea împăratului Teofil. În tot acest timp, sfinţii mărturisitori Teodor şi Teofan Poetul (prăznuiţi în 27 decembrie), care erau de asemenea întemniţaţi, îi trimiteau lui Metodie versuri de încurajare iar Metodie le răspundea tot în versuri.

După moartea lui Teofil, fiul acestuia Mihail al III-lea (842-867) a ajuns împărat, dar nefiind destul de matur, Imperiul Bizantin a fost condus de fapt de mama acestuia, împărăteasa Teodora, închinătoare la icoane.

Împărăteasa a încercat să extirpe erezia iconoclastă şi a dat ordin să fie eliberaţi toţi cei închişi pentru că s-au închinat la icoane. Ereticul Annios, patriarhul de atunci a fost înlăturat şi Sf. Metodie a fost făcut patriarh în locul lui. Apoi s-a organizat un sinod local la Constantinopol, prezidat de Sf. Metodie, în anul 842, în care s-a reintrodus închinarea la icoane şi s-a stabilit sărbătoarea anuală a  triumfului ortodoxiei. „Sinodikonul Ortodoxiei” compus de Sf. Metodie se cântă în prima duminică din Postul Mare.

În încercarea de a-i mânji reputaţia şi de a distruge iubirea enoriaşilor pentru el, păgânii au scos zvonuri cum că sfântul şi-ar fi încălcat castitatea. Însă blasfemiatorul a fost prins şi ruşinat în faţa tuturor. Ultimii ani ai sfântului au trecut cu pace, cu multă trudă în slujba Bisericii, renovând biserici ruinate de eretici, recuperând sfinte moaşte împrăştiate de păgâni şi mutând sfintele moaşte ale Patriarhului Nichifor de la locul întemniţării înapoi la Constantinopol.

Sfântul Metodie a murit în anul 846. El a fost apropiat duhovniceşte de Ioanichie (prăznuit în 4 noiembrie), care a proorocit că acesta va deveni patriarh şi că va muri în acel an. Pe lângă „Sinodikonul Ortodoxiei,” sfântul a mai întocmit un set de reguli pentru cei convertiţi la Ortodoxie, trei ritualuri de căsătorie, mai multe pastorale şi imnuri bisericeşti.

Ὁ Ἅγιος Μεθόδιος, ὁ ὁποῖος ἔζησε κατὰ τοὺς χρόνους τοῦ εἰκονομάχου αὐτοκράτορος Θεοφίλου (829 – 842 μ.Χ.), καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὶς Συρακοῦσες τῆς Σικελίας καὶ ἀπὸ εὐγενὴ οἰκογένεια. Ἀφοῦ ἐπεράτωσε στὴ γενέτειρά του τὶς σπουδές του, μετέβη στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη πρὸς ἐξεύρεση ἀνάλογης πρὸς τὴ μόρφωση καὶ τὶς ἱκανότητές του ἐργασίας. Ἐκεῖ ὅμως, μὲ προτροπὴ κάποιου μοναχοῦ, ἀποσύρθηκε στὴ μονὴ Χηνολάκκου καὶ ἐκάρη μοναχός. Διακρινόμενος γιὰ τὴν ἀσκητικότητα, τὴ βαθιὰ μόρφωση, τὴν εἰλικρινὴ εὐσέβεια καὶ τὸ καθαρὸ ἡρωικὸ φρόνημά του, ἔγινε θαυμαστὴς καὶ φίλος τοῦ Ὁσίου Θεοδώρου τοῦ Στουδίτου († 11 Νεομεβρίου) καὶ περιῆλθε μαζί του διάφορους τόπους, βοηθώντας αὐτὸν στοὺς ὑπὲρ τῆς προσκυνήσεως τῶν ἁγίων εἰκόνων ἀγῶνές του.

Κατ’ ἀρχὰς ὁ αὐτοκράτορας Θεόφιλος προσπάθησε νὰ προσεταιρισθεῖ τὸν Ἅγιο Μεθόδιο, ἐπιδαψιλεύοντας πολλὲς περιποιήσεις καὶ ἐπιδεικνύοντας ἰδιαίτερη πρὸς αὐτὸν ἐκτίμηση. Αὐτὸς ὅμως, τιμώντας τὸν αὐτοκράτορα, δὲν ἔπαψε νὰ παραμένει πιστὸς στὴν Ὀρθόδοξη πίστη του, νὰ κατακρίνει μὲ θάρρος καὶ παρρησία τὰ κατὰ τῶν ἁγίων εἰκόνων αὐτοκρατορικὰ διατάγματα καὶ νὰ κατηχεῖ πολλοὺς τοῦ αὐτοκρατορικοῦ περιβάλλοντος στὰ θεῖα διδάγματα τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας. Ἕνεκα ὅμως τοῦ ὑπερβολικοῦ ζήλου του ὑπὲρ τῶν ἁγίων εἰκόνων, συνελήφθη, ἐμαστιγώθηκε μὲ φρικώδη τρόπο καὶ δέσμιος ἐρρίφθηκε, μὲ δύο ληστές, ἐντὸς λάκκου στὴ νῆσο τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἀνδρέου στὴν περιοχὴ τοῦ Ἀκρίτα, ὅπου παρέμεινε ἐπὶ ἑπτὰ ὁλόκληρα χρόνια, ὄχι δὲ στὸ ναὸ τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἰωάννου τοῦ Προδρόμου στὴ νῆσο Ἀντιγόνη, ὅπως θέλει διασωθεῖσα παράδοση.

Μετὰ τὸ θάνατο τοῦ Θεοφίλου, ἡ διαδεχθεῖσα αὐτὸν Θεοδώρα ἀνεκάλεσε τὸν Ἅγιο Μεθόδιο στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη, κατόπιν ὑποδείξεως τοῦ Ὁσίου Ἰωαννικίου, τοῦ ἐν Ὀλύμπῳ ἀσκήσαντος († 4 Νοεμβρίου), καὶ μὲ κοινὴ ψῆφο κλήρου καὶ λαοῦ, στὶς 12 Φεβρουαρίου 842 μ.Χ., ἀνῆλθε στὸν Πατριαρχικὸ θρόνο.

Πρῶτο μέλημα τοῦ ἁγίου Πατριάρχου ὑπῆρξε ἡ ὁριστικὴ ρύθμιση τοῦ ζητήματος τῶν ἱερῶν εἰκόνων. Πρὸς τὸ σκοπὸ αὐτό, στὶς 19 Φεβρουαρίου 842 μ.Χ., συγκρότησε ὑπὸ τὴν προεδρία του Σύνοδο, ἡ ὁποία ἀναστήλωσε τὶς ἅγιες εἰκόνες καὶ ἀναθεμάτισε τοὺς ἀρχηγοὺς τῆς εἰκονομαχίας. Ἡ ἀναστήλωση τῶν εἰκόνων ἑορτάσθηκε διὰ μεγαλοπρεποῦς ἀνὰ τὴν πόλη λιτανείας, μὲ συμμετοχὴ ὅλων τῶν παρεπιδημούντων ἐπισκόπων καὶ κληρικῶν στὴν κωνσταντινούπολη, τῆς αὐτοκράτειρας Θεοδώρας μετὰ τοῦ ὑπ’ αὐτῆς ἐπιτροπευομένου ἀνήλικου υἱοῦ της αὐτοκράτορος Μιχαὴλ καὶ σύμπαντος τοῦ λαοῦ τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως. Ἔκτοτε ἐθεσπίσθηκε νὰ ἑορτάζεται πανηγυρικὰ ὁ θρίαμβος αὐτὸς τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας τὴν Α’ Κυριακὴ τῶν Νηστειῶν, τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας.

Οἱ Στουδίτες, φίλοι καὶ σύμμαχοι τοῦ νέου Πατριάρχου, μέχρι τῆς ἐκλογῆς του στὸν Πατριαρχικὸ θρόνο, ἐνῶ ἔπρεπε νὰ εἶναι ἰκανοποιημένοι ἀπὸ τὸ θρίαμβο τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας, ξαφνικὰ ἔγιναν οἱ βιαιότεροι ἐχθροὶ τοῦ Ἁγίου Μεθοδίου. Τὰ αἴτια τῆς ἐχθρότητος αὐτῆς τῶν Στουδιτῶν εἶναι πολλαπλά. Δὲν πρέπει νὰ διαφεύγει τῆς προσοχῆς ὅτι ὁ Ἅγιος Μεθόδιος ἐξελέγη Πατριάρχης, ἐνῶ τέσσερις Στουδίτες συνυποψήφιοι ἀγνοήθηκαν.

Στὴ συνέχεια ὁ Ἅγιος Μεθόδιος ἐφρόντισε καὶ μετεκομίσθησαν μὲ τιμὴ στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη τὰ ἱερὰ λείψανα τῶν τελειωθέντων στὴν ἐξορία Ἁγίων Νικηφόρου, Πατριάρχου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως († 2 Ἰουνίου) καὶ Θεοδώρου τοῦ Στουδίτου. Ἡ μετακομιδὴ ἔλαβε χώρα στὶς 26 Ἰανουαρίου 844 μ.Χ.

Τὸν ὑπόλοιπο βίο του διῆλθε ἐπουλώνοντας τὶς πληγὲς ποὺ προῆλθαν ἀπὸ τὴν εἰκονομαχία, ζώντας ἀσκητικά, παρὰ τὸ ὑπέργηρο τῆς ἡλικίας του, διακρινόμενος στὸ χάρισμα τῆς καλλιγραφίας καὶ τὴ μεταγραφὴ πολλῶν Ψαλτηρίων.

Ὁ Ἅγιος Μεθόδιος ἐκοιμήθηκε μὲ εἰρήνη, τὸ 847 μ.Χ., ἡ δὲ Ἐκκλησία, ἐπιβραβεύουσα τοὺς ὑπὲρ αὐτῆς ἀγῶνές του, τὸν κατέταξε μεταξὺ τῶν Ὁμολογητῶν της.
Πρὸ τοῦ τάφου τοῦ Ἁγίου Μεθοδίου, στὸ ναὸ τῶν Ἁγίων Ἀποστόλων, ὁ αὐτοκράτορας ἐρχόμενος τὴν δεύτερη ἡμέρα τοῦ Πάσχα προσευχόταν καὶ ἄναβε κεριά.

Ἀπολυτίκιον. Ἦχος πλ. α’. Τὸν συνάναρχον Λόγον.
Εὐσεβείας τὴν μέθοδον προβαλλόμενος, αἱρετικῶν διαλύεις τὰς ἐπινοίας στερρῶς, Ὀρθοδόξων ἡ κρηπὶς Πάτερ Μεθόδιε· τὴν γὰρ Εἰκόνα τοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἀνεστήλωσας τιμᾶν, ὡς θεῖος ἱεροφάντωρ· καὶ νῦν ἀεὶ ἐκδυσώπει, ἐλεηθῆναι τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν.

Κοντάκιον. Ἦχος β’. Τοὺς ἀσφαλεῖς.
Ὡς ἱερόν, ὁμολογίας πρόβολον, καὶ ἀρραγές, τῆς Ἐκκλησίας ἔρεισμα, Ἱεράρχην σε περίδοξον, ὁ Ἰησοῦς προεχειρίσατο· τὴν τούτου γὰρ Εἰκόνα κατασπάζεσθαι, ἐν σχέσει ἀνεκήρυξας Μεθόδιε, παρέχων ἡμῖν πταισμάτων ἄφεσιν.

Μεγαλυνάριον.
Τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας λύρα τερπνή, καὶ τῆς Ἐκκλησίας, ὑποβάθρα θεοπαγής, ὤφθης Ἱεράρχα, Εἰκονομάχων θράσος, εἰς γῆς κατεδαφίσας, Πάτερ Μεθόδιε.

Saint Methodius, Patriarch of Constantinople, was born in Sicily into a rich family. Having a vocation to serve God, he went while still in his youth off to a monastery on the island of Chios and renovated it with his means. During the reign of the iconoclast Leo the Armenian (813-820), Methodius held the high position of „apokrisiaros” („advocate for Church matters”) under the holy Patriarch Nicephoros (June 2). He was dispatched by the patriarch to Rome on a mission to the papacy and he remained there. During this period Leo the Armenian removed Nicephoros from the patriarchal throne and put on it the iconoclast Theodotus of Melissinea, given the nickname „Kassiter” („Tinman”) (815-822). After the death of Leo the Armenian, Saint Methodius returned, and in the dignity of presbyter he struggled incessantly against the Iconoclast heresy.

The emperor Michael the Stammerer (820-829) at first was noted for his benevolence and he set free many imprisoned by his predecessor for their veneration of icons, but after a while he renewed the persecution against Orthodoxy. Saint Methodius was locked up in prison in Akrita. After the death of Michael the Stammerer, the ruler was Theophilus (829-842), who also was an iconoclaMore refined a man than his father, he set free Saint Methodius, who likewise was a man of learning, superbly skilled in matters not only ecclesial, but also civil. Having received his freedom, Saint Methodius renewed the struggle with the heretics, and for a while the emperor tolerated this.

But after defeat in a war with the Arabs, Theophilus vented his anger against Methodius, saying, that God had punished him because he had letan „icon-worshipper” come close to him. Methodius objected, saying that the Lord was angry with him for the insults upon His holy icons. They gave the saint over to tortures, and struck him much about the face, from which his jaw was broken. Ugly scars remained on his face. Methodius was sent off to the island of Antigonos and he was locked up there with two robbers in a deep cave. In this dark prison where the light of day did not penetrate, Methodius languished for 7 years until the death of the emperor Theophilus.

During this time, the holy Confessors Theodore and Theophanes the Branded (December 27), who had also been sent to prison, sent Methodius greetings in verse, and the prisoner replied with greetings in verse, as well.

After the death of Theophilus, his son Michael III (842-867) began to rule, but not being of mature age, the Byzantine Empire was actually ruled by his mother, the empress Theodora, a venerater of icons.

The empress tired to extirpate the Iconoclast heresy, and gave orders to free the confessors imprisoned for icon veneration. The heretic Annios occupying the patriarchal throne was banished, and Saint Methodius chosen in his place. At Constantinople was convened a local Council with Saint Methodius presiding (842). The Council restored icon veneration and established an annual celebration of the triumph of Orthodoxy. The „Synodikon of Orthodoxy” compiled by Saint Methodius is read on the First Sunday of Great Lent.

Attempting to undermine the authority of Saint Methodius, and also the love and esteem of his flock for him, the heretics slandered him as having transgressed chastity. The slander was exposed as such, and the enemies of the saint put to shame. The final years of the saint passed peacefully, he toiled much, wisely guided the Church and his flock, renovated temples ruined by the heretics, gathered up the relics of saints scattered about by the heretics, and transferred the relics of Patriarch Nicephorus from the place of his imprisonment back to Constantinople. Saint Methodius died in the year 846. He was spiritually close to Ioannikos (4 November), who had foretold that he would become patriarch and also the time of his death. Besides the „Synodikon of Orthodoxy,” the holy hierarch also compiled a rule for those converted to the Faith, three rites of marriage and several pastoral sermons and church hymns.

 

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