Bishop Theophanes the Branded of Nicea (Iznik) (d. 850)

Theophanes grew up in Jerusalem in the late 700s and became a monk at the Monastery of Mar Sabba near Bethlehem. Theophanes was a zealous defender of Christian icons and supporter of Nicea’s Ecumenical Church Council in 787. When the second anti-icon movement began in 813, Theodore went to Constantinople to confront emperor Leo V. He was arrested and imprisoned.

After his release, he suffered numerous exiles, imprisonments, and torture for thirty years because of his pro-icon stance. Theodore’s face was branded with insulting words using hot needles. Theophanes became the bishop of Nicea (modern Iznik), and lived to the see the resto- ration of Christian icons under empress Theodora. He died around 850.