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Saint Of The Day On February 25: Saint Tarasius

Tarasius was not a priest and became bishop of Constantinople. He is venerated by the Orthodox in particular for defending images

Living in a context of Church decadence with the accusation of Simony (sale of offices and bribery) and with the prominence of iconoclasts (prohibition of image veneration), he must have challenged precisely one of the fundamental values: freedom of faith.

When there is injustice there can be no freedom, when there is imposition, recrimination there is no exercise of freedom.

So Tarasius put this sacred word back on the barbell, he who was of noble blood

He certainly could not back down from such an office, that of bishop and patriarch of Constantinople, and even though he was not even a priest.

A patriarch demanded it, one could not refuse.

Another scandal on the horizon placed Tarasius on dangerous ground.

We place ourselves in the 8th century and know how “face to face” the relationship between emperors, imperial leaders and clergy was.

After the Second Council of Nicaea in which Pope Hadrian I, protecting good neighborly relations, in turn condemned the heresy of the iconoclasts, the empress’s son separated from his wife to join in marriage with another woman.

Tarasius did not give up but felt it was his duty to proceed against the priest who had officiated at the marriage.

The scandal of the cross did not shake Tarasius from his resolutions of faith

Perhaps today, in some ways, considering what life confronts us would no longer scandalize as it did in the 700s, but one cannot help but admit that although more than 1,000 years have passed, we still feel that we are grappling with a big “cat out of the bag.”

Today we talk about discernment, responsible accompaniment of the separated and divorced.

Today more than yesterday, the scandal of the cross unites us in the freedom of faith that must redeem man from that which subjugates him.

May from this Eastern saint, St. Tarasius, we know how to cultivate a taste and love for freedom and its exercise.

Prohibition will never work; we want and proclaim orthodoxy, as well as heterodoxy but in a balance that does not wane.

Sister Ines Carlone Daughters of Mary Missionaries

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