Philaretos the Merciful was born in 702 in Amnia of Paphlagonia and died in 792 in Constantinople. He was a wealthy landowner with a charitable activity, but he was gradually led to a financial disaster. In 788, his granddaughter Maria was chosen to be the bride of the emperor Constantine VI (780-797) and his whole family moved to the capital, where Philaretos continued his charitable activity, thanks to which he became renowned and a saint of the church. His Vita was written in 821/2 by his grandson Niketas. His memory is celebrated on December 1st.