Saint Athanasius the Confessor was born in Constantinople of rich and pious parents. From his childhood he dreamed of devoting himself entirely to God, and having reached maturity, he settled in one of the Nicomedia monasteries, called the Pavlopetrios (i.e., in the names of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul), and became a monk there.
The loftiness of his ascetic life became known at the imperial court. During the reign of the iconoclast emperor Leo the Armenian (813-820), St Athanasius was subjected to torture for venerating icons, and then underwent exile, grief and suffering. Confessing the Orthodox Faith until the very end of his life, St Athanasius died peacefully in the year 821.