The Orthodox Church commemorates today Martyrs Philemon and Domninus, Venerable Jacob the Confessor, Saint Thomas, Patriarch of Constantinople.
Venerable Jacob remained steadfast in the Orthodox faith until he died. He lived in a turbulent period, like the Iconoclasm, when the truth was distorted and which led to serious loss of life.
We learned a lot about the life of Venerable Jacob from a letter written by Theodore the Studite, who was probably his spiritual father.
According to the letter, Venerable Jacob decided to follow a monastic path from an early age and distinguished himself thanks to his self-restraint and struggle throughout his life, but also thanks to his devotion to the Orthodox faith.
He followed to the letter the prayer that is read at the services during the period of Great Lent: “O Lord and Master of my life, a spirit of idleness, curiosity, ambition, and idle talking; give me not. But a spirit of chastity, patience, and love, bestow upon me, Thy servant.”
In recognition of his virtuous life, the Orthodox Church decided to honor him by ordaining him, Bishop. However, he did not live in a peaceful period because the Second Iconoclasm had already begun. He was sent into exile due to the stance he took during the Iconoclasm. He was fiercely tortured until his death. He was deemed worthy to receive the wreath of martyrdom.
Source: Church of Cyprus