Saint Nikephoros I of Constantinople, June 2

Τοῦ Πατριάρχου Πατριάρχης πλησίον,
Θείου γέροντος, Ἀβραὰμ Νικηφόρος.
Δευτερίῃ Νικηφόρος εἰς Ἐδὲμ εὕρατο μοίρην.
Saint Nikephoros (Nikiforos) was born in Constantinople in 758 AD. His parents Theodoros and Eudokia belonged to an aristocratic and official social class but were pious and virtuous people who nurtured their son with the threads of the Holy Scriptures. In fact, his father's commitment to the right faith caused him to be persecuted and exiled by the iconoclastic and ungodly emperor Constantine V, Kopronymos to Nicaea, where he died. Gifted with special intellectual abilities, he acquired a great theological and spiritual education. But he quickly retired to an estate on the Bosphorus, where he devoted himself to exercise and the study of the Holy Scriptures. But the emperor obliged him to take over the management of the great almshouse in Constantinople.
When Tarasios, the Patriarch of Constantinople, fell asleep, the emperor Nikephoros I nominated Nikephoros as his worthy successor. and indeed on Easter Sunday of 806 he ascended the Patriarchal Throne. Throne which was equivalent to Calvary. He fought hard for the honor and worship of the holy Icons. But when in 813 AD ascended the throne of Vasilevusa, the impious Leo V, the Armenian, a great and silent persecution broke out against the iconoclasts. Nikiforos' haughty attitude and insistence on protecting Orthodoxy caused the wrath of the emperor, who removed him from the patriarchal throne. He suffered many sufferings and finally, suffering enough, he surrendered to the righteous rewarder God his spirit on June 2, 822 AD.

Compared with Theodore of Stoudios, Nikephoros appears as a friend of conciliation, learned in patristics, more inclined to take the defensive than the offensive, and possessed of a comparatively chaste, simple style. He was mild in his ecclesiastical and monastical rules and non-partisan in his historical treatment of the period from 602 to 769 (Historia syntomos, breviarium). He used the chronicle of Trajan the Patrician but deliberately chose not to name the source so as to connect himself to the historical tradition of Theophylact Simocatta. The Short History is thematically focused around the matter of the offices of emperor and patriarch. Nikephoros attempted to salvage the reputation of the patriarchate by criticizing iconoclast patriarchs for submitting to the emperor, not for being iconoclasts. Herakleios was the ideal emperor in Nikephoros’ scheme because of how he worked alongside patriarch Sergios, but also how Sergios helped to defend Constantinople from the Avars in 626 as well as the patriarch’s ability to discipline the emperor for his marriage to his niece Martina. Herakleios failure to heed the Egyptian patriarch’s advice is what ultimately brought about the Arab conquest of Egypt.

His tables of universal history, Chronography or Chronographikon Syntomon, in passages extended and continued, were in great favor with the Byzantines, and were also circulated outside the Empire in the Latin version of Anastasius Bibliothecarius, and also in Slavonic translation. The Chronography offered a universal history from the time of Adam and Eve to his own time. To it he appended a canon catalog (which does not include the Revelation of John). The catalog of the accepted books of the Old and New Testaments is followed by the antilegomena (including Revelation) and the apocrypha. Next to each book is the count of its lines, his stichometry, to which we can compare our accepted texts and judge how much has been added or omitted. This is especially useful for apocrypha for which only fragmentary texts have survived.

The principal works of Nikephorus are three writings referring to iconoclasm:

Apologeticus minor, probably composed before 814, an explanatory work for laymen concerning the tradition and the first phase of the iconoclastic movement;
Apologeticus major with the three Antirrhetici against Mamonas-Constantine Kopronymos, a complete dogmatics of the belief in images, with an exhaustive discussion and refutation of all objections made in opposing writings, as well as those drawn from the works of the Fathers;
The third of these larger works is a refutation of the iconoclastic synod of 815 (ed. Serruys, Paris, 1904).
Nikephoros follows in the path of John of Damascus. His merit is the thoroughness with which he traced the literary and traditional proofs, and his detailed refutations are serviceable for the knowledge they afford of important texts adduced by his opponents and in part drawn from the older church literature.

Ἦhos c'. Of divine faith.
Victorious, the Church, the confession of God, Victorious Hierarch, for the Icon of the Word, respecting the superiority of the one who spoke unjustly. Father Hosea, beseech Christ God, grant us the great mercy.

Heteron Apolytikion
Ἦhos d'.
A rule of faith, and an icon of meekness, teacher of self-control, show to your flock the truth of things; for this reason I will humble the high, and the rich. Father Hierarch Nicephorus, ambassador of Christ to God, save our souls.

Ἦhos d'. You showed up today.
The crown of victory, O Nicephorus, from heaven today, as I ascend before God, save the faithful, honoring you, as Hierarch and Teacher.

Hail to the Church, the abneus of icons, and iconoclasts, the mighty dethrone; Hail to the God-given, the protector of doctrines, theophron Nicephorus, the support of faith.