Saint Nicephorus was a dignitary at the court of the Empress Irene (797-802). After embracing monasticism, he became widely known for his piety. He assumed the Patriarchal Throne of Constantinople in 806 and became a zealous defender of the holy Icons. In 815, the Iconoclast Emperor Leo the Armenian (813-820) exiled him to Prokonnis, where he fell asleep in the Lord in 828.
Saint Nicephorus left behind three writings against Iconoclasm.
In 846, the relics of Patriarch Nicephorus were returned to Constantinople and placed in the Great Church of Hagia Sophia for one day before being transferred to and enshrined in the Church of the Holy Apostles.