PATRISTICS/ Germanos of Constantinople
Saint Germanos I was Patriarch of Constantinople from 715 to 730. He is regarded as a saint, with a feast day of May 12.
According to Theophanes the Confessor, Germanos was a son of patrician Justinian who was executed in 668. Justinian was reportedly involved in the murder of Constans II and usurpation of the throne by Mezezius. Constantine IV, son of Constans II, defeated his rival and punished the supporters of Mezezius. Germanos survived the persecutions but was castrated. The names Justinian and Germanus were common in the Justinian Dynasty and might suggest a distant relation. But any connection remains theoretic
Germanus was sent to a monastery. He resurfaces as Bishop of Cyzicus. He took part in the 712 Council of Constantinople where decisions favored Monothelitism, abolishing the canons of the Third Council of Constantinople (680-681). The Council followed the religious preferences of Philippikos Bardanes.
In 713, Philippikos Bardanes was deposed by Anastasios II. Anastasios soon reverted all religious decisions of his predecessor. Patriarch John VI, strongly associated with Monothelitism, was eventually dismissed. On 11 August, 714/715, Germanus was elected Patriarch of Constantinople. Germanus later helped negotiate Anastasius' surrender terms to Theodosios III.
In 715, Germanos organized a new council propagating Dyothelitism and anathematizing various leaders of the opposing faction.He attempted to improve relations with the Armenian Apostolic Church with a view towards reconciliation. The major issue of his term would however be the emerging Byzantine Iconoclasm, propagated by Leo III the Isaurian. Germanos was an iconodule. After an apparently successful attempt to enforce the baptism of all Jews and Montanists in the empire (722), Leo issued a series of edicts against the worship of images (726¿729). A letter by the patriarch Germanos written before 726 to two Iconoclast bishops says that "now whole towns and multitudes of people are in considerable agitation over this matter" but we have very little evidence as to the growth of the debate.
Germanos either resigned or was deposed following the ban. Surviving letters Germanus wrote at the time say little of theology. According to Patricia Karlin-Hayter, what worried Germanos was that the ban of icons would prove that the Church had been in error for a long time and therefore play into the hands of Jews and Muslims.Tradition depicts Germanos as much more determined in his position. Even winning a debate on the matter with Constantine, Bishop of Nacoleia, a leading Iconoclast. Pope Gregory II (term 715-731), a fellow iconodule, praised Germanos' "zeal and steadfastness.",
Germanos was replaced by Anastasios, more willing to obey the emperor. Germanos retired to the residence of his family. He died a few years at an advanced age. His death is estimated at occurring in 740. He was buried at the Chora Church. The Second Council of Nicaea (787) included Germanos in the diptychs of the saints. He has since been regarded a saint by both the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church. Several of his writings have been preserved.