Michael of Synnada

Michael of Synnada (Michael the Confessor) (died 818) was a bishop of Synnada from 784.[1] He represented Byzantium in diplomatic missions to Harun al-Rashid and Charlemagne. He was exiled by Emperor Leo V the Armenian because of his opposition to iconoclasm. Honored by the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, his feast day is May 23.


Michael was much influenced by Patriarch Tarasios of Constantinople, who sent him to a monastery on the coast of the Black Sea. An associate of Saint Theophylact of Nicomedia, once during a harvest in a time of drought, they caused rainfall through their prayers.[2]

Patriarch Tarasius consecrated Michael Bishop of the city of Synnada. He was present at the Seventh Ecumenical Council at Nicea in 787.[2] At the request of the Emperor, he visited Caliph Harun al-Rashid to conduct peace negotiations.[3] He also carried out diplomatic missions for Byzantium at the court of Charlemagne.

He clashed with the Emperor Leo the Armenian over Leo's policy of iconoclasm, and was exiled,[2] where he died on 23 May, 826,[4] in want and poverty, faithful to Orthodoxy to the end.[3]

He died in 818.[3]


He is an Orthodox and Roman Catholic[5] saint. His feast day is celebrated on May 23.[2] He is invoked for protection of crops from pests.[6]

St. Michael is depicted with St. Athanasius in the Icon of the Mother of God “Economissa”.[7]

See also


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