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S. Tarasius

+ A.D. 806.

Tarasius, raised by Constantine and Irene from the post of Secretary of State, at one step, though a layman, to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, (A.D. 784) was the chief mover in the restoration of Icons and the Second Council of Nicaea. Strongly opposing the divorce of Constantine from Maria, he refused to celebrate that Emperor’s nuptials with Theodora. But when they had been performed, he was with some difficulty persuaded to pardon the priest who had officiated at them. On this, S. Plato, and the monks of the all-influential Studium, forsook his communion; 155 nor was the schism composed till the Patriarch yielded and retracted his pardon. He died February 25th, A.D. 806, on which day he is commemorated both by the East and West. His hymns are unimportant. The longest is the Canon on the Invention of S. John Baptist, May 25th. It is in no wise remarkable. Nor do I know any of his compositions which would be sufficiently interesting to the English reader, to make it worth versification here.

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