ܕܡܪܥܝܬܐ ܕܐܘܚܕ̈ܢܐ ܡܥܪ̈ܒܝܐ ܕܐܡܝܪܟܐ
|Mor Kyriakos, Patriarch of Antioch, August 16|
Mor Kyriakos, Patriarch of Antioch (793-817)
A most distinguished Antiochian Father, in his life, piety, knowledge and understanding, Kyriakos was born and raised at Takrit. He received his education and also became a monk at the Monastery of the Pillar near alRaqqa (Callinicus) where he acquired a great deal of theological science, and practiced the monastic life. He was a man of many virtues and good character. He was elected a patriarch by the Holy Synod and was consecrated in 793. He held five Synods, one in Beth Botin in 794, in which he issued forty canons and made them public in a universal letter. The second was held at the Monastery of Nawawis in the province of Qinnesrin in 797 or 798 to reconcile the Phantasiast Julianists and add them to the Church, but his efforts were blocked by some envious and fanatic bishops. The third was at Beth Gabrin in 808, in which he excommunicated the monks of the Gubba monastery. The fourth was at Harran in 813 and the fifth, at Mosul in 817. Because of his determination and strictures in enforcing laws and regulations, he suffered calamities from malicious clergy and laymen who violated them. He administered the Holy See for twenty-four years, during which time he ordained eighty-six metropolitans and bishops.
He died in Mosul on the sixteenth of August, 817 and was buried in Takrit and was commemorated by the Church.
Michael the Great said: "Patriarch Kyriakos wrote a book on theological teaching as well as a magnificent collection of letters. "By the first work, Michael meant the book on Divine Providence, consisting of three volumes and divided into ninety-eight treatises. What remained of this book is the third volume, and twenty-two treatises, some of whose chapters are wanting. Two of these treatises he wrote at the request of Theodosius, Bishop of Seleucia, and Walid and Yeshu of Tarmanaz, in the province of Cyrus. It is a noble book, testifying to the author's wide knowledge of the Bible and the writings of the church scholars. Moreover, it is written in a smooth and excellent style, free from foreign terms.
Kyriakos also wrote ten letters in reply to the questions propounded to him by the said Yeshu, deacon of Tarmanaz. These were added to his book. He enacted seventy-two canons in the Synods of Beth Batin and Harran and instituted a pledge of allegiance consisting of six pages, to be recited by the candidates for high ranks of priesthood before their ordination. He has also three eloquent discourses consisting of seven pages; in the first he praised the virtues of Severus of Antioch. It begins with, "The clear and pure mirror which reflects the wonderful merits of St. Severus, requires a clear mind with tremendous imagination to look through it." The second discourse on the Sunday of the priests begins with, "When we remember the chief priests and priests of the Orthodox faith, who departed from this transient world." The third discourse on the "vineyard of the beloved," mentioned by the prophet Isaiah, begins with: "When our Savior spoke to the descendants of Israel by parables and symbols." He also wrote a homily on virginity and drew up a liturgy beginning with, "0, eternal and everlasting Lord," consisting of five pages, and a creed composed by him and Gabriel, head of the Julianists. This collection of his letters, however, is lost, and of his Synodical epistles, only two survive; one addressed to john IV and one to Mark III, patriarch of Alexandria, in an imperfect Arabic translation.
(History of Syriac Literature and Sciences, Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem I Barsoum, Presseggiata Press, p 124/5)