St. Germanus I of Constantinople

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Germanus I of Constantinople (634-740) was the Patriarch of Constantinople from 715 to 730. According to the monk Theophanes the Confessor (760-818), Germanus was a son of Justinian, who was reportedly involved in the murder of Byzantine Emperor Constans II in order to enthrone Mezezius. Constantine IV, son of Constans II, defeated Mezezius and punished his supporters, executing Justinian in 668 and making Germanus a eunuch, who was then sent to a monastery.

Germanus took part in the 712 Council of Constantinople where decisions favored Monothelitism, abolishing the canons of the Third Council of Constantinople (680-681).  In 715, Germanus was elected Patriarch of Constantinople. He organized a new council propagating Dyothelitism and anathematizing the various leaders of Monothelitism. The major issue of his term would, however, be the emerging heresy of Iconoclasm, propagated by Byzantine Emperor Leo III the Syrian.  Germanus played an important role in defending the use of sacred images during the iconoclastic crisis of his day, suffering exile for his opposition to the emperor, who considered reverence for these images a form of idolatry. Pope Gregory II (term 715–731), praised Germanus’ “zeal and steadfastness”. Germanus was replaced as Patriarch by Anastasios, who was more willing to obey the emperor. Germanus retired to the residence of his family and died a few years later at an advanced age in 740.

 

Quotes & Excerpts:

“Hail, God’s holy throne, divine offering, house of glory,
all-beautiful ornament, and chosen jewel, and universal
propitiatory, the heaven that tells the glory of God,
dawn shining with light inaccessible.
Hail, Mary, full of grace, holier than the saints, higher than
the heavens, more glorious than the cherubim, more honorable
than the seraphim, more venerable and lofty than all creation;
in your glorious and splendid Presentation, you bring us the liberating olive branch of the spiritual Flood; Hail, dove:
you bring us the glad tidings of the birth of salvation . .
all-golden urn, you contain the sweètness of our souls,
Christ our manna.”
-Homily I on the Presentation 17-18 -Homily 3 on the Dormition
(Written 715 A.D.)

“May the Ever-Virgin
– radiant with divine light and full of grace –
Mediatrix first through her supernatural birth
and now because of the
intercession of her maternal assistance
-be crowned with never-ending blessings. . .
we should make our way honestly,
seeking balance and fittingness in all things,
as sons of light.”
-Homily for the Liberation of Constantinople 23
(Written in 717 A.D.)

“For, just as in your Son’s presence
you have a mother’s boldness and strength,
do you with your prayers and intercessions
save and rescue us from eternal punishment,
for we have been condemned by our sins
and do not dare even
to lift our eyes to heaven above.”
-Homily on the Cincture (Written ca. 700 A.D.)

“Her body, being human, was adapted and
conformed to the supreme life of immortality;
however, it remained whole and glorious,
gifted with perfect vitality and
not subject to the sleep of death, precisely
because it was not possible that the vessel that
had contained God, the living Temple of the
most holy Divinity of the Only-begotten,
should be held by a tomb made for the dead.”
-Homily I On the Dormition (Written 715 A.D.)

“Indeed, as a son looks for and desires
his own mother, and the mother delights
to live with her son, thus it was right that
you also, whose heart was full of
motherly love for your Son and God,
should return to him;
likewise it was altogether fitting that God,
who for his part had the kind of feelings of love
toward you that a son has for a mother,
should make you a sharer in his community of life.”
-Homily I On the Dormition (Written 715 A.D.)

Homily I -On the Most Venerable Dormition of the Holy Mother of God

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Homily II -On the Most Venerable Dormition of the Holy Mother of God

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