Empress Irene, Restorer of Christian Icons of Constantinople (Istanbul) (d. AD 803)

Irene was from a noble family of Athens. She married emperor Leo IV, and they had one son, Constantine VI, who later became emperor. She ruled as empress for thirty-five years, from 768 to 803. Leo IV
continued his father Constantine V’s anti-icon policies, but Irene was a strong supporter of Christian icons. When Leo IV died in September 780, Irene began to rule with her young son, Constantine VI.

In 787, he and his mother convened the seventh Ecumenical Church Council in Nicea (modern Iznik), during which the use of Christian icons was restored back to the church. Irene died in 803.