Sophronius of Jerusalem
Feast Day: March 11
Sophronius was a monk who lived from 560 to 639. He did not stay in one monastery, as many monks of his time did. Instead he lived his life of prayer, fasting, and sacrifice first in the desert of Egypt, then near the Jordan River, in Rome and finally in Jerusalem.
A false teaching, or heresy, was being preached by a bishop and his followers. This false teaching denied that Jesus was both human and divine. Sophronius worked to put an end to this heresy so that people would understand the meaning of the Incarnation—that the Son of God became fully human in all things except sin, while remaining fully divine. Sophronius’ teachings were later officially accepted as true at an important meeting of bishops.
Sophronius was appointed bishop and then a Patriarch of the Church. A Patriarch was the main bishop of an area. He also found time to write books, hymns, and poems, some of which are still read today. He was a great leader because he used his many gifts to serve God and the Church.
The Church honors Sophronius as a saint. His example teaches us to live the words of St. Peter: “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another” (1 Peter 4:10). Like St. Sophronius we can serve God by sharing our gifts and talents with others.
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The Story of Our Church, unit 2