THE VENERABLE THEODORE OF SYKEON

April 22

From the Prologue

Theodore was born in the village of Sykeon in Galatia for which he was surnamed, the Sykeote. As a child of ten years, he surrendered himself to strict fasting and in all-night vigils after the model of Stephen, an elder who lived in his house. His mother Maria was a wealthy widow and intended to dedicate her son to the military profession. St. George appeared to her in a dream and informed her that Theodore was destined for the service of the King of Heaven and not a king of the earth. St. George appeared to Theodore many times either to instruct him or to save him from certain dangers in which the evil demons placed him. He had several visions of the All-Holy Mother of God. Theodore's life of mortification, by his ascetical severity, surpassed the living ascetics of his time. He mortified his body through hunger, thirst, iron chains and by standing at prayer all night. He did all of this in order to bind his soul with love for God and to make his soul the complete master over his body. In response to Theodore's love, the merciful Lord responded with love. God bestowed upon him great power over evil spirits and over all diseases and afflictions of mankind. He was famous throughout as a wonder-working healer. Because of his purity and devotion, he was consecrated bishop of Anastasiopolis against his will. He remained for eleven years at his episcopal duty and then implored God to free him from this service in order to, again, dedicate himself to his beloved asceticism. After that, he returned to his monastery where, in his old age, he rendered his soul to his Lord, for Whom he willingly suffered much. He died at the beginning of the reign of Emperor Heraclius about the year 613 A.D.





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