The Holy Martyress Theodotia and her Three Young Children

Commemorated on July 29

      The Holy Martyress Theodotia and her Three Young Children lived during the reign of the emperor Diocletian (284-305). She was a Christian, a native of the city of Nicea Bithynia. Having been widowed, Saint Theodotia led a pious manner of life and raised her sons in the Christian faith. She was in spiritual friendship with Saint Anastasia the Alleviatrix-of-Captives (Comm. 22 December). When the persecution against Christians began, they arrested the holy women. At the trial, the dignitary Leucadius was captivated by the beautiful Theodotia and he decided to take her home with him, intending to marry her. Finding herself with her children in the home of Leucadius, Saint Theodotia kept herself in purity, yielding neither to inducements nor charms, nor threats by the pagan. Angered at the steadfastness of the saint, Leucadius sent her off with her children to Bithynia, to the district governor Niketas. At the interrogation, when the judge began to threaten her with torture, Saint Theodotia's eldest son Evodus said, that Christians fear not tortures, but fear instead being forsaken by God. They cruelly beat the boy before the eyes of his mother, such that he began to flow with blood. Saint Theodotia prayed, that the Lord would strengthen her son in his sufferings, and rejoiced in that he was being vouchsafed a martyr's end for truth. They gave Saint Theodotia over for defilement, but the Lord preserved her. Before the eyes of everyone occurred a miracle: an Angel of the Lord blocked the path for defilement, holding back everyone from approaching the saint. Imputing it to a work of sorcery, the judge sentenced the saint and her children to burning in a bon-fire (+ 304).
      The memory of the holy Martyrs Theodotia, the Lad Evodus and her other two small sons is celebrated also under 22 December, together with the memory of Saint Anastasia the Alleviatrix-of-Captives.

© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.