This fourth century saint died in 310-312 A.D. He was believed to be the Bishop of Patara in Lycia of Asia Minor. He was known for his calmness and mildness, and his firm defense against heresies of Origen in defense of the purity of the Orthodox faith. “He left behind him a rich literary legacy: works in defense of Christianity against paganism, explications of Orthodox dogmas against the heresy of Origen, moral discourses, and explanations of Holy Scripture.” (1). He was arrested and sentenced to death by beheading around the year 312.
Martyrdom of St. Methodius of Patara
Various Orthodox publications make reference to some of his prophecies written in one of his books titled “Oracular Responses and Prophecies for the Future of the World.” This prophecy describes the Blond nation that will take over Constantinople (referred here as the seven-hilled city similar to Rome). Most academic scholars make reference to St. Methodius with a manuscript titled the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius written in the 7th century Sirac text written by an anonymous source, and translated into the Greek and Latin. The Greek text contains 14 chapters describing event over seven millennia from the fall of Adam until the Second Coming. However, as one studies the Greek and Latin translations of Pseudo-Methodius, it is clear that the Greek prophecy attributed to Methodius of Patara published in his “Oracular Response…” is significantly different in scope and context to the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius However, both prophecies were written with events surrounding the fall of Christian lands to the Arabs in the 7th century onwards.
Primarily the alternate Orthodox source provides a detailed description of an invasion of Byzantium by a “blond nation” which would stir up other nations to launch a counter-offensive, leading to a cessation of a war by some sort of celestial event and voice shouted from the sky. The Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius makes no such reference to these events, or to the naming of the future “Roman King” as “John”. It is interesting to note the parallels of this prophecy to those described by Leo the Wise, St. Andrew Salos for Christ, the Constantine Tomestone prophecy, and the Anonymous Prophecy of 1053 AD. Now, on to the text of the prophecy…
The Prophecy of St. Methodius – Translated Text to English
“(…) and the seed (offspring) of Ishmael will come out of the desert… and ahead of them there will go four plagues against the earth, calamities and loss and destruction and depopulation, and it is not out of Divine love towards them that God will give them power to take control over Christian lands, but in order to punish the Christians for their disrespect for his laws.”
“(…) The blond nation will have control over the Seven-Hilled city for the course of five or six months, and many people will eat to render justice to the Saints. There will be three provident leaders to govern in the East. Following them will rise another, independent one to govern; and after him another wolf very wild,… And the nations that are located in the North will be disturbed and will be moved into action with great speed and fierce anger and they will be organized into four groups; one will spend the winter in Ephesus, the second one in Melagia; the third in Pergamum and the fourth in Bythinia… then the nations that are situated in the southern corner will by roused into action and the Great Philip with an army composed of peoples speaking 18 different languages will get together in the Seveth-Hilled City and will begin a war such as one has never happened before; and they will be very swift in invading both the thoroughfares and the narrow streets of the Seventh-Hilled city and the killing of the people will flow like a river, and the sea will turn turbid and darkened by the blood till the bottom of the abyss.
At that time the ox will cry out and the Xirolophos will wail; and then the horses will stand still and a voice from heaven will cry out: let us stop and stand aright, let us stand still, peace be unto you! There has been enough revenge against the disobedient and those who did not want to listen. Now, depart to the right-hand areas of the Seven-Hilled city and there you will find a man who is standing on two columns in very sober mood; (he will be bright in appearance, just, charitable, dressed modestly, severe in appearance but peace loving in character) he will have a sign: a corn in his right foot; and a voice from the Angel will be heard, make him your king!
And they will give a sword to his right hand and they will say to him: take courage, oh John, and be strong and be victorious over your enemies; and taking in his hands the sword indicated by the Angel he will beat the sons of Ishmael and the dark-skinned ones and every infidel nation. And the sons of Ishmael he will divide into three groups: one third he will kill by the sword, one third he will baptize and the rest he will bring under submission in the East. And upon his return from his expeditions and battles the treasures of the earth will be opened and everyone will become rich and nobody will be a poor man, and the earth will give its fruits 100-fold. And all weapons of war will be converted into ploughs and scythes; and he will rule for a period of thirty five years.”
(1) HIEROMARTYR METHODIUS THE BISHOP OF PATARA, Orthodox Christianity – http://orthochristian.com/94755.htm
(2) Methodius of Olympus – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methodius_of_Olympus
(3) Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocalypse_of_Pseudo-Methodius
(4) Sotiropoulos. (1973), The Coming Sharp and Two-Edged Sword, Athens, Greece
(5) Alexander, P. J. (1985). Byzantine Apocalyptic Traditions. Berkeley: University of California Press.
(6) Garstad, Benjamin ed. and trans. (2012). Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius. An Alexandrian World Chronicle. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0674053076.
(7) H. Tzima Otto, Their earthshaking news: When science and theology speak the same urgent language, 1995, Verenikia Press.