March 11

Today is the feast day of Saint Sophronius, Ora pro nobis.

Saint Sophronius was Patriarch of Jerusalem and Greek ecclesiastical writer.  He was born about 560 at Damascus of noble parentage, and died probably March 11, 638, at Jerusalem. He lived twenty years near Jerusalem, under the direction of John Moschus, a holy hermit, without engaging himself in a religious state.

He probably became a monk in Egypt about 580 and later removed to Palestine.  Conspicuous for his learning and piety he became in 634 Patriarch of Jerusalem, and sorrowfully witnessed during his reign the conquest of Palestine by the Arabs and their capture of Jerusalem.  He was no sooner established in his see, than he assembled a council of all the bishops of his patriarchate, in 634, to condemn the Monothelite heresy, and composed a synodal letter to explain and prove the Catholic faith.

Ten homilies which have been preserved deal chiefly with ecclesiastical festivals, and are remarkable for their dogmatic contents and oratorical style. Numerous anacreontic odes entitle him to a place among Greek ecclesiastical poets. A large work in which he collected 600 testimonies of the Fathers in favor of the two wills of Christ has perished.

Sophronius was detained at home by the invasion of the Saracens.  St Sophronius died a year later of grief at the fall of his city.

Image: Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem (3)

Research by REGINA Staff


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