Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: Block 7 - Lot 5, Greek Shrine
Title: St. Photios
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 Material Information
Title: St. Photios
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: Block 7 - Lot 5, Greek Shrine
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090509
Volume ID: VID00095
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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St. Photios is one of the great Patriarchs, teachers and
missionary Saints of the Greek Orthodox Church. He was
born in Constantinople about 820, and was soon recognized
as a child wonder because of his superb gift of intelli-
gence. His father was martyred in the iconoclast contro-
versy, but left an adequate inheritance so as to provide
his son with the best education available. Photios' great
interest was Greek philosophy, science, Holy Scripture and
the Fathers of the early Church.
He was to prove wholly worthy of this training as he rose to become the leading
educator of the Empire, and was later appointed first consultant on matters of
State. His reputation gained such stature that by 857 he was called upon to be-
come Patriarch, but in a spirit of humility refused the invitation. The demand
for his leadership was so overwhelming however, that he was ordained from layman
to deacon to priest to bishop and enthroned as Ecumenical Patriarch during the
Christmas week of 857.

Under his leadership, and through the zeal of the brothers and evangelizers
Cyril and Methodius, the great missionary effort to the Balkan Countries was
initiated. Photios was known as a great missionary Patriarch. However, deep
rivalries, political and ecclesiastical, both within the empire and between Rome
and Constantinople plagued his reign. He was unjustly deposed as Patriarch, ex-
iled, and many of his manuscripts and books destroyed. Incensed at what had
been done to their spiritual leader the people erupted in indignation, and this,
combined with some unnatural events such as an earthquake prompted the revoca-
tion of his exile. Even the Pope of Rome recognized the injustice that had
taken place, and his envoys joined the leaders of the East in hailing the return
of Patriarch Photios at the Synod of St. Sophia in 879. His leadership and
brilliance led the Church for many years, until in the sunset of his life he
again suffered exile and died in a monastery on February 6, in the year 898.

Of all his books, manuscripts, sermons, and letters, his greatest contribution
was the 280 chapters of "Mypiobilos", a series of volumes which brought together
a description of the books, major writings and discussions on the sciences that
had been written up until that time. Everything that is known about these early
books and writings, all of which were destroyed, comes from the short but ac-
curate critiques found in this single monumental work of Photios. For his total
life of dedication and service to not only the Church, but to all of mankind he
was elevated to Sainthood, and accorded the title MEGAS, or St. Photios the Great.

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