The Holy Great-Martyr Theodore The Tyro The word Tyro means recruit. As soon as Theodore entered the army in the Marmarite regiment in the town of Amasea, the persecution of Christians began under the Emperors Maximian and Maximus. As Theodore did not try to conceal the fact that he also was a Christian, he was dragged to court and thrown into prison, which was then locked and sealed because the wicked judge wanted him to die of starvation. The Lord Christ Himself appeared to Theodore in prison and encouraged His martyr, saying to him: “Fear not Theodore, I am with you. Do not partake of earthly food and drink anymore, for you will be with Me in the other world in the heavens–eternal and everlasting.” At that moment there appeared a multitude of angels in the prison, and the entire prison shone brightly. The guards, seeing angels dressed in white raiment, became terrified. After that, St. Theodore was taken out, tortured and condemned to death. Theodore was thrown into a fire and gave up his holy soul to the Most-high God. He suffered in the year 306 A.D.
The Venerable Theodosius The Bulgarian And His Disciple Roman As a monk, St. Theodosius settled not far from the city of Trnovo [Bulgaria]. There he established a monastic community, which became known as “Theodosius’s” after him. He notably distinguished himself at a council in Bulgaria against the Bogomils in the year 1360 A.D. Defending the Orthodox Faith at this council, he shamed the Bogomils by his reasoning. He finished his earthy course in Constantinople in the year 1362 A.D. His disciple, Roman, continued to live as an ascetic in Theodosius’s community until his death.
Saint Mariamna (Maria) Mariamna was the sister of the Holy Apostle Philip. She traveled with her brother, preaching the Gospel with him in Hierapolis and in other places. Following Philip’s martyric death, Mariamna continued her missionary work in Lycaonia, where she died.
Hymn Of Praise Saint Theodore The Tyro “Do not be afraid of the world, for I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). These are holy words both then and now. They are a true balm for all who suffer, Most of all for the glorious martyrs of God. Why should you be afraid of those who are more fearful? The world is afraid of its own shadow! Why fear the powerful and the rulers, And dying things, constantly dying? He who is with the Householder is not afraid of the house. The Householder sees everything that is in the house, And there is nothing that He would not know. And His servant, what should he be afraid of? When he hears the Lord say, “Do not be afraid of the world!” what more does he desire? “Do not be afraid of the world, for I have overcome the world!” Our Lord reigns and rules over the world. Before the flames and death, Theodore smiled, And thus he received wreathes that never fade.
Reflection An artist is one who carves and shapes forms of living creatures from crude and shapeless stone. An artist is one who weaves a multicolored blanket from the wool of sheep. An artist is one who builds a magnificent palace out of earthly bricks. But what artist on earth can be compared to Christ the Artist, Who makes illiterate men into wise men, fishermen into apostles, cowards into heroes, and the profligate into saints? But all must be given over to the hand of the artist, in order to be fashioned into that which the artist knows and is capable of doing. All things, in truth, must be given over to the hand of the artist. Even men must give themselves over to the hand of Christ, in order for Him to carve, to weave or to build that which only He knows and is capable of. The last nineteen centuries witness to us, that all who did not oppose Him but rather gave themselves over to Christ the Artist, went from being boorish and ignorant to being angel-like children of God.
Contemplation Contemplate the Lord Jesus as an Artist above all artists:
- Who, from the body of man, which has become wild from the passions, creates a noble organ of every virtue;
- Who, from the chaos in the soul of man, creates the cosmos–a pure and shining mirror of the glory of God;
- Who, from ignoble men creates an undefiled kingdom, a country of the holy– an artistic work without precedence and without comparison.
Homily on death as sleeping “And all wept, and bewailed her: but He said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed Him to scorn, knowing that she was dead” (Luke 8:52- 53). The reference here is to the dead daughter of Jarius. Jarius himself said that his daughter had died, and his servants confirmed this. But the Lord, the Giver of life, said: Weep not; she is not dead, and they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead. The ignorant pretend that they know better than the Knower. The blind pretend that they see better than the All-seeing One. But when the young girl arose and showed herself alive, the ignorant were astonished with a great astonishment (Mark 5:42). Even today, the ignorant scoff when they hear the divine truth. Divine truth speaks: There is a Living God! And the ignorant ridicule this as though they know that there is no God. Divine truth speaks: There is a Heavenly Kingdom! And the ignorant ridicule even this as though they know that there is no Heavenly Kingdom. Divine truth asserts: The dead will resurrect! And the ignorant even deny this as though they know that this will not be. And when God appears and the angels of God appear, and the Kingdom of Heaven is made known, and the dead resurrect, then the ignorant ones will be astonished with a great astonishment. Who can save the world from the ignorant? No one can save the world except Christ the Omniscient, the Omnipotent. By what can the ignorant be saved? By nothing except faith in Christ and and the Christian Faith. Who are the most ignorant ones in the world? They are those who deny whatever Christ affirmed and affirm whatever He denied. In a word: there are those who think that they know something contrary to the knowledge of Christ. They are the worst and the most dangerous ignoramuses, both to themselves and to others. My brethren, know that everything and everyone can deceive us except Christ, our Lord and Friend. He always knows and we do not, except when we look and listen to Him. O Lord, merciful and all-merciful, help all the ignorant, that before death and judgment they may be astonished with great astonishment, and that they too may be saved in the Kingdom of Thy holy ones.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.