Commemorated on September 12
Theodore, Bishop of Alexandria, was born in Egypt in the city of
Alexandria. This city was famed in the Church Universal by many a martyr and
confessor: from the holy Evangelist Mark, First-Martyr of Alexandria (+ 63,
Comm. 25 April), to Saint Athanasias the Great (Comm. 18 January and 2
May), a pillar and confessor of Orthodoxy (+ 373). Regrettably, historical records
do not provide us precise details about the time of life and the deeds of holy
Bishop Theodore, but the Church of Christ throughout all times has preserved
the name of the priest-martyr in its diptych lists.
A fiery preacher,
powerful of word and church activity, Bishop Theodore evoked an angry hatred
within the boisterous Alexandrian pagans, intolerant of evangelisation. During
the time of one of his preachings they surrounded and seized hold of the saint.
He did not offer resistance. They beat him and they jeered at him: they placed
a crown of thorns on his head and amidst mockery they led him through the city.
Then they led him to the sea-coast and threw him from a cliff into the sea. But
the wind caught hold of him – and the waves carried him back to dry land. The
astonished pagans led Saint Theodore off to the governor of the city, who
commanded that he be subjected to harsh tortures. But not a word except prayer
to the Lord did the torturers hear from the tortured confessor. Then the holy
martyr was handed over to Roman soldiers and executed in the manner of the
Apostle Paul – through beheading by the sword.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.