Irene and Constantine, with Paul's counsel, chose Tarasius to be Paul's successor in the year 783 A.D. Tarasius accepted this rank reluctantly in order to assist Orthodoxy in the struggle against [[heresies]], especially against Iconoclasm. Tarasius was quickly elevated through the ecclesiastical ranks and became patriarch in 784.
In the year 787 the Seventh Ecumenical Council was convened in the city of [[
Nicaea]], with Patriarch Tarasius presiding, and 367 bishops attending. The veneration of holy icons was confirmed at the council. Those bishops who repented of their iconoclasm were again received by the Church.
St. Tarasius wisely governed the Church for 22 years. He led a strict [[ascetic]] life. He spent all his money on God-pleasing ends, feeding and giving comfort to the aged, to the impoverished, to widows and orphans, and on Holy [[Pascha]] he set out a meal for them, and he served them himself. Toward the powerful, Tarasius was decisive in his defense of faith and morals. When Emperor Constantine banished his lawful wife Maria (granddaughter of St. [[Philaret the Merciful]]), and sought a blessing from the patriarch for marriage to a kinswoman, Tarasius not only refused him a blessing, but first counseled him, after that reproached him, and finally forbade him to receive [[Holy Communion]].