SAINT METHODIUS, CONFESSOR, PATRIARCH OF
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 St.
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 he news of the death
of St. 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 least 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, St. Ignatius,
celebrated his festival yearly, and it is kept both by the Latin and
Greek churches. Having had his jaw broke in the persecution, he wore
a bandage under his chin to support it. The works of St. Methodius
consist of penitential canons, certain sermons, and an encomium of
St. Dionysius the Areopagite, in which some think he made use of the
works of Hilduin, which he probably saw at Rome. See his life,
written by a contemporary author in the Bollandists, and Fleury b.
48, n. 48.