An intercessor in heaven for sufferers from mental illnesses

St Theophanes the Confessor, miracle worker and defender of the icons

saint Theophanes

He inherited a large estate from his illustrious parents and made a brilliant career at the Emperor’s court. He was a relative of Emperor Leo the Isaurian. Yet he aspired to a life in God. With his wife’s consent, he left behind his luxurious life, used his estate to establish a monastery and settled there as a common monk. His wife later followed his example, establishing a convent with her assets and settling there.

Despite the drastic change of lifestyle, St. Theophanes found great joy in monastic life and became renowned for his piety, righteousness and strong faith. Many sick were healed by his prayers, and he acquired the gift of wonderworking. To this day, believers have invoked his name in prayers for mental patients. However, when he became seriously ill himself, he refused to pray for his healing but instead accepted his condition with gratitude to God.

A vehement opponent of the heresy of iconoclasm, he was imprisoned and sent to exile under Emperor Leo the Armenian, who launched a new round of persecution of defenders of the Holy Icons. The long years of imprisonment and the harsh conditions of the exile undermined his health, and he departed to God on the twenty-fourth day of his exile.

March 25, 2022
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