Ignatius, the son of the Byzantine Emperor Michael I Rangabe, had it rough even before he got mixed up in the icon-troversy (hah! I crack myself up). When dad was overthrown, Leo the Armenian ordered Ignatius to be castrated and tonsured into a monastery. There's a little archipelago off Constantinople (Istanbul) called Princes' Islands to which the family members of overthrown emperors were exiled. Ignatius wound up founding three different monasteries there during his exile.
Ignatius landed the top church job (Patriarch of Constantinople) when his faction regained the palace. His mom took a hand in affairs, helping to get his nephew Michael III on the throne. Iggy took a hard line it came to the iconoclasts, opposing the reinstatement of an archbishop who had taken a soft line on the iconoclasts. That archbishop appealed to the Pope, leading to the question What authority does the Pope have to judge the Church in the East? It was a fair question, but it kicked off a schism that has not been healed to this day.
The Empress Theodora's brother Bardas moved close to the throne by arranging a murder or two. That's not so unusual for a Roman imperial family, but it's worth mentioning because reversed Ignatius' fortunes again. Bardas did something to earn the disapprobation of the Patriarch. Later sources said that it was sleeping with one of his daughters-in-law. Others seem to think that Bardas wanted to force his sister into a convent and Ignatius refused to help. Either way, Bardas deposed Ignatius and replaced him with a layman named Photios.
|Bardas gets pink slip the Byzantine way.|
|Seven times down, eight times up.|
Yamamoto Tsunetomo, called Jocho, dictated a book that's come to be called Hagakure (Hidden Leaves). He offered a thought that might apply to Saint Ignatius' career, and Photios' also:
If one has not been a ronin at least seven times he will not be a true retainer. Seven times down, eight times up. One should understand that it is something like being a self-righting doll.