As for Saint Methodius, he was born to wealthy parents in
Syracuse of Sicily about the end of the eighth century. Being a
presbyter, he was sent as an ambassador to Rome in 815 or 816 on behalf
of Patriarch Nicephorus of Constantinople, who had been exiled by Leo
the Armenian (see June 2). After Leo's death, he returned to
Constantinople; but since he was a zealot for the veneration of the holy
icons, he was immediately exiled by Emperor Michael the Stutterer to a
fortress near Bithynia. When Michael died, he was freed for a short
time; but then, because of his confession of the Orthodox Faith, he was
imprisoned again by the Emperor Theophilus in a dark and foul-smelling
sepulcher. Since this was not enough for the Emperor's inhumanity, he
commanded that two thieves be shut up with Methodius, and when one of
them died, that the corpse not be removed. While the Saint was
imprisoned there, a certain poor fisherman ministered to his needs.
Finally, when the Church received its freedom under Saint Theodora the
Empress, the Saint ascended the patriarchal throne of Constantinople in
842. Together with the holy Empress, Methodius restored the holy icons
to their proper honor; this is commemorated on the Sunday of Orthodoxy.
He governed the Church of Constantinople for four years, and reposed in
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
A model of faith and the image of gentleness, the example of your
life has shown you forth to your sheep-fold to be a master of
temperance. You obtained thus through being lowly, gifts from on high,
and riches through poverty. Methodios, our father and priest of priests,
intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.
Kontakion in the Second Tone
Thou didst struggle on earth as one without a body, and didst
inherit Heaven, O Methodius; for thou didst set forth the veneration of
icons to the ends of the earth. And while living in abundant labours
and hardships, thou didst not cease boldly to censure them that set at
nought the icon of Christ.