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Feastday: May 23

Death: 826


In an eleventh-century Byzantine book of saints known as the Menology of Basil, Michael is described as a “pious and God-fearing” monk. He was educated by the patriarch of Constantinople, Saint Tarasius, who at his accession to the episcopate had brought the Byzantine Church back to communion with the See of Rome after a six-decade schism. Tarasius sent Michael as the courier of a synodal letter to Pope Saint Leo III. In 787 Michael was consecrated bishop of Synnada (Turkey). Michael’s defense of the veneration of religious images, in opposition to the Iconoclast heresy that condemned this traditional Christian practice, led to his suffering exile under the Iconoclast Byzantine emperor Leo V (“the Armenian”). Michael told the emperor, “I venerate the immaculate and divine image of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, and of his most holy Mother.” Michael spent the remainder of his life in exile at Eudokiadu (Turkey), dying there in 826.


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