METROPOLITAN METHODIOS MARKS FEAST OF HIS PATRON SAINT
Clergy and laity from throughout the Metropolis joined Metropolitan Methodios in the Chapel of St. Andrew on June 13 for the Vespers of St. Methodios the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople. Following the Vespers, the Metropolis Philoptochos Board hosted a reception in the Metropolis Center.
In addition to the faithful stewards from the Parishes of the Metropolis, attending the Vespers were residents of the Philoxenia House. The family of U.S. Army Sgt. Alexander Sebunnya, stewards of the Taxiarchae Parish in Watertown, MA also attended to receive the Metropolitan's blessings and to pray prior to his deployment to Iraq the next day.
On Sunday, June 14, the Feast Day of St. Methodios, Metropolitan Methodios presided at a hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the St. George Church in Lynn where he dedicated new mosaics in the exonarthex and stained glass windows in the main church. In the evening, Metropolitan Methodios attended the 23rd Annual Ministry Awards Dinner of the Metropolis, attended by more that 750 guests.
Saint Methodios 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. 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 846.