Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Methodius, Patriarch of Constantinople, Confessor

Article

He was a Sicilian of high birth, and very learned. Forsaking the world, he built a monastery in the island of Chio, but was afterwards called to Constantinople by the patriarch Saint Nicephorus, whom he accompanied in his two banishments, under the Iconoclast emperor, Leo the Armenian. In 817 he was sent by that patriarch Apocrisiarius or Nuncio to Rome. Upon the news of the death of Saint Nicephorus, he returned to Constantinople; but was thrown into prison by the heretical emperor Michael the Stammerer, where he remained till the end of his reign. In 830 he was released by the Catholic empress Theodora, but soon after banished by her impious husband Theophilus. That prince dying in 842, Theodora became regent for her son Michael III, and placed Methodius in the patriarchal chair of Constantinople. He purged that church of heresy, and instituted an annual feast of thanksgiving, called the Festival of Orthodoxy. Having filled that see four years, he died of a dropsy on the 14th of June, 846. His immediate successor, Saint Ignatius, celebrated his festival yearly, and it is kept both by the Latin and Greek churches. Having had his jaw broken in the persecution, he wore a bandage under his chin to support it. The works of Saint Methodius consist of penitential canons, certain sermons, and an encomium of Saint Dionysius the Areopagite, in which some think he made use of the works of Hilduin, which he probably saw at Rome.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Methodius, Patriarch of Constantinople, Confessor”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. Saints.SQPN.com. 16 June 2013. Web. 26 November 2014. <>