The Holy Martyr Theodore, and others with him.

Commemorated April 21 in the Orthodox Christian Menaion

From the Prologue

He suffered for the Christian faith in Perga of Pamphylia in the time of the Emperor Antoninus. Theodore was young and fair of face. When the governor of that district chose him, along with several other young men, for service at the imperial court, Theodore refused and declared himself to be a Christian. Because of this, he was tortured in various ways and then thrown into the flames, but water gushed from the earth and put out the fire. The governor ascribed this to some magic of Theodore's, but the martyr said to him: 'This is not the work of any power of mine, but of Christ my God; and if you want to test the power of your gods, light another fire and throw in one of your soldiers - then I hope you will understand the strength and almighty power of my God.' The governor really wanted to throw in one of the soldiers, but they, in terror, begged him to throw in the pagan priest, Dioscorus, in their place. The priest begged him to throw in only the idol of Zeus and the other idols, for, he said, if they were gods they would easily save themselves. Dioscorus spoke thus because he had already in his heart turned to Christ, having seen the marvel wrought concerning Theodore. Discovering this, the governor condemned Dioscorus to death by burning. He also delivered Theodore and two soldiers, Socrates and Dionysius, and Theodores's mother Philippa, to death. Theodore was crucified, and breathed his last on the cross only on the third day. Socrates and Dionysius were run through with spears and Philippa was beheaded. They were all crowned with wreaths of glory in the Kingdom of Christ.

From The Prologue From Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich
©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK

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