Commemorated on February 21st
St Zacharias Patriarch of Jerusalem.
St Zacharias succeeding Isaacius (601-609 AD) as Patriarch of Jerusalem during 609-632 AD. According to John Zonaras, the great compiler of the Canons, his tenure lasted twenty-three years; but according to St Nicephorus, it lasted 22 years. The holy Zacharias, in turn, was succeeded by St Modestus. In the life of St Modestus, the following was written concerning his predecessor,
"History will always remember the imprisoned Patriarch Zacharias, the heroic champion of the Holy Land, with great admiration and respect for refusing to be separated from the most venerable Cross". Meletius states that at the time of Emperor Heraclius (614 AD), the blessed Zacharias was imprisoned by Chosroes, but he returned to Jerusalem with Heraclius, who had driven out the Persians. Jerusalem, in the meantime, was rebuilt, and the captured Holy Cross was returned and elevated once again by the hands of St Zacharias on the 14th of September, 629 AD. This latter event is commemorated as the Feast of the Elevation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross, on September 14.
Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)
O God of the Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Your gentleness, take not Your mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide of life in peace.
Kontakion of St Zacharias (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)
To you, the Champion Leader
Let that replendent and far-shining star of Christ God's Church, let that divinely given guide of all Orthodox, be now crowned with beautiful garlands of songs and praises; the Good Conforter's divinely sounding harp of truth and the steadfast adversary of all heresy; let us cry to him, "Rejoice, O Zacharias most venerable".