THE HOLY MARTYR THEODOTUS AND THE SEVEN MAIDEN MARTYRS

May 18

From the Prologue

Theodotus was married and an innkeeper in Ancyra during the reign of Diocletian. Although married, he lived according to the word of the apostle: "Let those having wives act as not having them" (1 Corinthians 7:29). He maintained the inn in order to unsuspectedly help Christians. His inn was a shelter of the persecuted faithful. Theodotus secretly sent help to those Christians who fled to the mountains and secretly gathered the bodies of those who died and buried them. At that time, seven maidens were brought to trial and tortured for Christ, ridiculed and finally drowned in a lake. One of them, St. Thecusa appeared in a dream to Theodotus and told to him to remove their bodies from the lake and bury them. In the darkness of night, Theodotus, with a companion, went out to fulfill the wish of the martyr and, led by an angel of God, succeeded to locate all seven bodies and bury them. But this companion betrayed Theodotus to the judge and the judge subjected him to cruel tortures. Theodotus endured all sufferings as though he were in someone else's body keeping his whole mind engrossed in the Lord. When the torturer transformed his entire body into wounds and knocked out his teeth with a stone, he ordered him to be beheaded. When he was led to the scaffold, many Christians wept for him and

St. Theodotus said to them: "Brethren, do not weep for me but glorify our Lord Jesus Christ Who helped me to complete this mortification and to overcome my enemy." Having said this, he place his head on the block under the sword and was beheaded in the year 303 A.D. A priest honorably buried this martyr's body on a hill outside the town. Later on, a church was built on this spot in the name of St. Theodotus.





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