Theodorus and Theophanes

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Saints Theodorus (ca. 775–ca. 842) and Theophanes (ca. 778–845), called the Grapti (from the Greek graptoi, "written upon"), are remembered as proponents of the veneration of icons during the second Iconoclastic controversy. They were brothers and natives of Jerusalem.

Both entered the monastery of Mar Saba, which, at that time was under the guidance of Michael, later syncellus of the Patriarch of Jerusalem.

About 812 they entered a monastery at Constantinople, where in opposition to the Emperor Leo V (813-20) they energetically defended the veneration of images, and consequently were exiled. Under the succeeding emperor, Michael II (820–29), they were brought into the monastery of Sosthenes on the Bosphorus. Michael's successor, the tyrannical and Iconoclastic Theophilos (829–42), exiled them again, but recalled them in 836 to the capital, had them scourged several times, and had twelve lines of verse cut into their skin (hence the nickname "written upon").

They were once more sent into exile, where Theodorus died, while Theophanes lived to see the close of the Iconoclastic controversy in 842 during the reign of the Empress Theodora. In this same year he was raised to the Archdiocese of Nicaea and administered it until his death.

Theophanes wrote a large number of religious poems, among them one on his dead brother. (cf. Christ and Paranikas, "Anthologia græca carminum christianorum", Leipzig, 1781). The brothers are venerated as saints. In the Eastern Orthodox Church the feast of Theophanes is observed on 11 October, that of Theodorus on 27 December. In the Roman Church the feasts of both are celebrated on 27 December (Cf. Nilles, "Kalendarium manuale utriusque Ecclesiæ", I, 300, 368 sq.).

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 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.