Saturday, March 7, 2020

05 Works, Today, March 7th, is Martyr Theodore's Day, With Footnotes - #65

 Great Martyr Theodore the Recruit

The Holy Great Martyr Theodore the Recruit was a soldier in the city of Alasium of the Pontine district. They commanded him to offer sacrifice to idols. Saint Theodore firmly confessed his faith in Christ the Savior in a loud voice. The commander gave him several days to think it over, during which time Saint Theodore prayed.

The martyr Theodore climbed onto the fire without hesitation

They charged him with setting a pagan temple on fire, and threw him into prison to be starved to death. The Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him there, comforting and encouraging him. Brought to the governor, Saint Theodore boldly and fearlessly confessed his faith, for which he was subjected to new torments and condemned to burning. The martyr Theodore climbed onto the fire without hesitation, and with prayer gave up his holy soul to God. More on the great martyr Theodore

Edward Armitage,  (1817–1896)
Julian the Apostate presiding at a conference of sectarians, c. 1875
Oil on canvas
H 174.6 x W 271.8 cm
Walker Art Gallery

Edward Armitage RA (May 20, 1817 – May 24, 1896), a history and biblical painter; born 20 May 1817, in London. Studied in Germany and Paris, under Paul Delaroche, whom he assisted with H√©micycle for the Palais des Beaux-Arts (1838–41); settled in London 1848, exhibiting ambitious works at RA and elsewhere; two frescoes in Houses of Parliament 1852–4; Crimean subjects 1856; Retribution, an allegory of the Indian insurrection for Leeds Town Hall 1858; church and institutional murals 1860s; settled in St John’s Wood 1850s; elected ARA 1867, RA 1872; an amateur entomologist and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society; died 24 May 1896, at Tunbridge Wells. More on Edward Armitage

Fifty years after Saint Theodore’s martyrdom, Emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363), devised a plan to corrupt the Christians during the first week of Great Lent. He knew that Christians purify themselves through fasting, especially during this week. Therefore, he ordered the Polemarch (military leader) of Constantinople to go secretly and sprinkle all the food in the marketplace with the blood of animals which had been offered in sacrifice to idols. 

The miracle of Saint Theodore and the boiled wheat

Saint Theodore appeared to Archbishop Eudoxios in a dream, telling him to assemble all the Christians on Monday morning and tell them that they must not buy any food from the marketplace; instead they were to boil some kollyva and to eat it with some honey during that week. The hierarch asked Saint Theodore what he meant by kollyva. He replied, “Kollyva is what we call boiled wheat in Euchaita.” Thus the scheme of the idol-worshipping emperor was thwarted and the pious people were preserved undefiled during Clean Week.

Saint Theodore

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