The PriestMartyr Theodore, Bishop of Alexandria

Commemorated on September 12

      The PriestMartyr 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.