Saint Theophanes the Confessor was the brother of Theodore the Branded. They were born in Palestine to righteous parents, and entered the great monastery of Saint Sabbas.
The brothers lived during the iconoclastic period, and were defenders of the icons. The Patriarch of Jerusalem sent them to Constantinople to defend the icons against Emperor Leo the Armenian's heretical belief that they were idols. When the emperor could not refute their arguments, he had them beaten and sent into exile.
After Leo's assassination, the brothers returned from exile. But as the policy of iconoclasm continued under the new emperors, they were again exiled. When they returned a second time, they were tortured and their faces were branded with irons inscribed with mocking poems. They refused to take communion with the iconoclasts, but they refused, and were banished to the city of Apamea in Bithynia.
Saint Theophanes survived the Iconoclasm and became Bishop of Nicea. He composed a number of hymns, and so he is sometimes known as Theophanes the Poet. His feast is celebrated on October 11.
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