Icon of St. Theodore Tyros – S441

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Church Feast Day 1

17-Feb

Movable Church Feast Day 1

1st Saturday in Great Lent

Heritage

Macedonian

Style

Egg Tempera

Date

17th c. (Early)

Location

Pushkin State Museum, Moscow, Russia

Description

St. Theodore was born in the East.  He had just entered the Roman Army when the persecution of Christians was renewed by the Roman Emperors Galerius, Maximian, and Maximinas in the early 4th century.  Confessing his obedience and faith in his Heavenly Commander, he was brought to trial before the authorities in Amasea (in modern day Turkey).  He refused to deny Christ, and was given some time to reconsider because of his youth.

Inspired by zeal, St. Theodore went out and burned down the great Temple of Cybele, the goddess of Anatolia.  For this he was burned at the stake and brought his tokens of spiritual weapons before Christ in Heaven.  It is told that during the reign of the Emperor Julian the Apostate (a.d. 361-363), fifty years after St. Theodore’s death, the governor of Constantinople was told during the first week of Great Lent to sprinkle all of the food in the marketplace with blood offered to idols, thus polluting it for Christians.  St. Theodore appeared to the Archbishop of Constantinople and warned him, asking that Christians boil wheat with honey instead.   This commemoration is held the first Saturday in every Great Lent.