Ignatius of Constantinople, Saint

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Saint Ignatius of Constantinople, c.800–877, Greek churchman, patriarch of Constantinople. A son of Byzantine Emperor Michael I, he was castrated and shut up in a monastery (813) by the man who deposed his father, Emperor Leo V, to prevent his succession to the throne. In 846 or 847, he was made patriarch of Constantinople by the Empress Theodora, who approved his uncompromising zeal against iconoclasm. After her banishment by her brother Bardas, who became regent for Michael III, St. Ignatius was asked to resign. Photius, whose politics were more acceptable, became patriarch. The Ignatian party refused to accept Photius and sought aid from the pope, St. Nicholas I. On the accession of Basil I, St. Ignatius again became patriarch. In 869, St. Ignatius was declared to be the legal patriarch (see Constantinople, Fourth Council of). Ignatius is regarded as a saint by both the Orthodox Eastern and Roman Catholic Churches. Feast: Oct. 23.