Icon of St. Theodosius of Totma – S442


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Totma, Vologda Region, Russia


18th c. (Early)


St. Theodosius was born of the Sumorin family in the city of Vologda in the time of Tsar Basil III Ivanovich (who ruled from a.d. 1505 to 1533).   St. Theodosius was married at his parents’ demand and had a daughter by his wife, but after his parents, wife, and daughter died, he went to live in the Spaso-Prilutski Monastery of St. Demetrius.  There he did heavy work, including carrying water, cutting wood, and baking bread, but he always kept himself in deep prayer, and fasted strictly, asking God for mercy.

St. Theodosius was sent to Totma to look over the monastery’s salt trade, but was so taken by this location that he asked for his abbot’s blessing and the support of the Tsar Ivan Vasilievich to build a monastery there in a.d. 1554.  This was granted, and St. Theodosius was appointed the new monastery’s superior.  There he lived an exemplary life, teaching the monks by his example and wise words, putting many sayings and the lives of the holy Saints before them.  He was a great ascetic and wore chains and a hairshirt.  After his death in a.d. 1568, he worked many miracles.  His relics were found to be incorrupt in a.d. 1796.