Mosaics of Hagia Sophia

From Three Byzantine Saints: Contemporary Biographies of St. Daniel the Stylite, St. Theodore of Sykeon and St. John the Almsgiver, translated by Elizabeth Dawes, notes by Norman H. Baynes.

The Emperor Heraclius later transported St. Theodore's body to Constantinople in order that its presence there might protect the capital from the Persian attack. This life is an amazing record of daily life in Asia Minor in the 7th century.  There are stories about every kind of profession, even professional wrestling.  I strongly recommend reading it - all the way through.  There is a lot in here about demon possession - which creeps me out! Also, you will see how well they knew and studied the Bible, which may be a surprize to many Protestants - after all the New Testament was written in everyday Greek!

The following gives us a summary of his life from an online Orthodox database:

Saint Theodore was born out of wedlock in Sykeon, a village of Galatia in Asia Minor. From his childhood, he was under the protection and guidance of the holy Great Martyr George, who often appeared to him, and was as it were his trainer in the hard ascetical discipline which he took upon himself all his life. After a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, he became a monk in his native Galatia. About 584 he was ordained Bishop of Anastasiopolis in Galatia, where he shepherded his flock for ten years. After this, he asked to be allowed to be relieved of the duties of governing the diocese. His request was granted but he was commanded to retain his rank as bishop. Saint Theodore was a great worker of miracles, and also received from God the power to cast out even the most obstinate demons, who called him "Iron-eater" because of his stern way of life. Having passed throughout many regions, worked numerous miracles, and strengthened the faithful in piety, he departed this life in 613.


IN the country of Galatia there is a village called Sykeon under the jurisdiction of the town of Anastasioupolis which belongs to the province of Galatia Prima, namely that of Ancyra, Sykeon lies twelve miles distant from Anastasioupolis.

The public highway of the imperial post ran through this village, and on the road stood an inn kept by a very beautiful girl, Mary, and her mother, Elpidia, and a sister Despoinia. And these women lived in the inn and followed the profession of courtesans.

At that time when Justinian of pious memory was Emperor [reigned 527-566] certain imperial decrees were being dispatched from the capital, and thus it chanced that a certain well­-known man, Cosmas by name, who had become popular in the Hippodrome in the corps of those who performed acrobatic feats on camels, was appointed to carry out the Emperor's orders.

On this man's journey to the East he stayed for some time in the inn, and seeing Mary and how fair she was, he desired her and took her to his bed. From this union she conceived and saw in a dream a very large and brilliant star descending from heaven into her womb. She awoke all trembling with fear and related the vision she had seen in the night to Cosmas, the imperial messenger, and he said to her, 'Take good care of yourself, dear, for perchance God will watch over you and give you a son who will be deemed worthy to become a bishop'. With these words he left her in the morning and went on his way rejoicing.


Next the woman visited a holy father who could foresee the future who lived six miles off near the village of Balgatia, and related to him what she had seen in her dream. The old man said to her, 'I tell you of a truth that the son who shall be born of you will become a great man, not as men hold greatness, but he will be well­-pleasing to God. For a brilliant star is held to signify the glory of a king by those who are expert in interpreting visions; but with you it must not be read thus. For it is the brilliant adornment of virtues and graces which God has sent down upon the babe in your womb that you saw in the likeness of a brilliant star; for thus He is wont to consecrate His worthy servants in the womb before they are born'. When Theodosius who had been appointed bishop of the town of Anastasioupolis heard of her vision, he, too, by God's inspiration gave to her the same interpretation.


When her full time was accomplished, Mary bore the servant of God; and after some days had passed, she carried him, as is the custom among Christians, to the Holy Church of the Orthodox and showed him to the priests who baptized him in the name of the Holy Trinity and named him 'Theodore', thus showing by this name that he would be the 'gift of God'. When the child was about six years old, his mother wanted him to enter the Emperor's service in the capital, so she made ready for him a gold belt and expensive clothes and everything else necessary, and then she prepared herself for the journey. On the night when she intended to start, God's holy martyr, St. George, appeared to her and said, 'What is this plan, lady, which you have made for the boy? do not labour in vain, for the King in heaven has need of him'. And in the morning she arose and related her vision and wept saying, 'Assuredly death has drawn near to my boy'. After this she abandoned her journey. She wore herself away with increasing care of her son, and when he was eight years old she gave him to a teacher to be taught his letters. By the grace of God he was quicker at learning than all the other boys and made great progress

He was beloved by all and in his daily life became known to all for his virtues; for when he played with the others he always beat them, but no oath or blasphemy nor any unfitting word ever escaped his lips, nor did he allow the others to use one. And whenever any dispute arose in their games, he at once withdrew and through his actions put an end to it.


Now there lived in the house a God­-fearing man called Stephen who used to make skillfully prepared dishes. The women by this time had become quite respectable, for they had abandoned their profession as prostitutes and followed the path of sobriety and godliness. They now relied upon the goodness of the fare when they entertained the many governors and officers who came to the inn, and they congratulated Stephen who had made the food so tasty. Whenever he received any money, either from the women or their guests, he spent it on the churches where he prayed regularly morning and evening. During Lent, although he prepared all the food for the women, he fasted till the evening partaking of nothing except perhaps a little boiled wheat and water.

The women loved him and looked upon him as a father because he was such a true lover of Christ. The boy noticing this abstinence was moved by divine love and desired to copy Stephen's mode of life, according to the words of the apostle who said, 'Remember them that have the rule over you who spake unto you the word of God; and consider the issue of their life and imitate their faith . . . For it is good that the heart be established by grace; not by meats wherein they that occupied themselves were not profited' [Heb. 13:7,9] For meat commendeth us not to God.' [1 Cor 8:8].

His mother and the other women, unconscious of his heart's desire, compelled him to eat with them when he returned home from school at the dinner-­hour; so when school was over he no longer came home for dinner but spent the whole day in the school fasting and in the evening he would come back and go off with the pious man, Stephen, to the holy churches and there pray and partake of the body and blood of Christ. Returning home he would share with Stephen his boiled wheat and water. However much the women and even Stephen himself urged him, he could not be persuaded to do as they wished. Then his mother asked the schoolmaster to send him home at the dinner hour as she wished to persuade him to eat at least a little vegetable food, because he was getting run down from want of food and from eating only so late in the day. The schoolmaster accordingly sent him away with the other boys, but Theodore did according to the song of David which says: 'In the Lord I have trusted; how shall ye say to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?' [Ps. 11:1]


When he came out of school he went up the rocky hill which lay near the village. Here there was a shrine dedicated to the martyr St. George. The Saint would guide him to the spot appearing visibly before his eyes in the form of a young man. Entering the shrine Theodore would sit down and busy himself with the study of the Holy Scriptures; and after midday he went back to the school and returned home in the evening. When his mother inquired why he had not appeared at dinner­time, he tricked her saying either that he had not been able to say his lesson and was therefore kept in; or that he had a pain in his stomach and therefore had no appetite. So she again sent word to the master to send him home with the others, and he replied that since he had received her message he always did send him away with the others. Then she found out that he went up to the shrine and so she sent some of her servants to fetch him, and they brought him down to her. She threatened him and told him to come straight home from school to her; but he continued to act as he had been accustomed to do. His mother was very troubled about him, but in spite of all her threats and advice she was quite unable to make him change his fixed purpose, or to break the rules of abstinence which he had prescribed for himself.


When he was about twelve years old an epidemic of bubonic plague fell upon the village and it attacked him along with the others so that he came near to dying. They took him to the shrine of St. John the Baptist near the village and laid him at the entrance to the sanctuary, and above him where the cross was set there hung an icon of our Saviour Jesus Christ. As he was suffering great pain from the plague suddenly drops of dew fell upon him from the icon, and immediately by the grace of God, freed from his suffering, he recovered and returned to his home.

As Theodore was sleeping at night with his mother and the women who lived with her Christ's martyr, George, came to him, and, steeping all the others in deep slumber, woke him up. The first few nights he came in the form of the Stephen whom we have already mentioned, and later, in his own person, and said to him, 'Get up, master Theodore, the dawn has risen, let us go and pray at the shrine of St. George'. Theodore got up readily and with great joy and the Saint led him away from the house up to his shrine, while it was still dark, so that the boy beheld some of the temptations caused by the demons, for the wicked demons, the enemies of truth, appeared on either side of him in the semblance of wolves and other wild beasts, and with gaping mouths they rushed upon him as though to kill him, in order that they might cause him through fear to give up his good purpose. But Christ's martyr took hold of him and, like a man wielding a sword, chased them from him, so that Theodore was no whit alarmed by the sight of the wild beasts but became even more zealous and never missed his visits to the shrine.


When he began to adopt this habit, his mother and the women sleeping with her would wake up in the morning, and not seeing him in his bed they suspected that he had crept out and was spending the nights in the martyr's shrine; and they wondered how it was, since he slept between them, that he got out so successfully without anybody noticing it. They were afraid he might be devoured by some beast, since a fierce wolf, which carried off children, had lately been haunting the neighborhood; so they tried to coax him not to go up to the shrine, at least before sunrise, as it was a wild, and fearsome place. However, the boy would not be persuaded and when awakened by the martyr at the appointed hour he went off to the shrine. When the women did not find him in bed in the morning, they became very angry and sent servants who brought him back dragging him by the hair. His mother whipped him and tied him to the bed with his arms behind his back, and gave him no food.

That night God's holy martyr, George, appeared to Theodore's mother and the other women, girt with a sword, which he drew as he came towards them saying threateningly, 'Now I shall cut off your heads because you ill ­treat and punish the boy and prevent his coming to me'. On their swearing solemnly that they would never do it again, he took back his threat and disappeared.

The women woke up from fright and loosed the boy and comforted him, imploring him not to be angry with them for their mistakes. They asked him how he dared go up to the shrine before dawn, to which he replied, 'First I went up with Stephen and afterwards with a very handsome and fine young man'. So they concluded that that must be the martyr they had seen in their dream, and yielding to the martyr's urgency they no longer tried to force the boy but said, 'God's will be done ! '

Theodore had a tiny sister called Blatta who sympathized with him and loved him dearly. Her heart was set on doing God's will and often she went up with Theodore to the shrine in the daytime, and she tried to imitate him in every act of self-denial.


The boy had made very good progress in learning to read, when one day he went into the church of the holy martyr, Gemellus, which was near his home and spent the night there. And he saw himself as though he were in the presence of a king surrounded by a strong bodyguard and a woman clad in purple at his side, and he heard the king say, 'Fight the good fight, Theodore, that you may receive full pay in the heavenly army, and on earth I will give you glory and honor in the sight of men'. When he had heard this voice, he awoke.

He was twelve years old when his heart was stirred by the message given to him by the King, Christ, in this vision, and in his zeal to follow the path leading to those better things which pertain to salvation he began to shut himself up in one of the cellars of his home from Epiphany to Palm Sunday, and during two weeks in Lent, the first and the middle one, he spoke to no one at all but offered prayers to God alone, and practised abstinence as he had done before.


Now when the devil, the enemy of truth, saw that Theodore was industriously acquiring the spiritual weapons of virtue against him, he determined to destroy him. Accordingly one day he assumed the appearance of one of Theodore's school fellows, Gerontius by name, and took him and led him up to the cliffs of a place called Tzidrama, and, setting him on a lofty crag of the cliffs there, put the temptation to him which was put to our Saviour, and said. 'If you are willing, master Theodore, to display your powers of conquest, display them here and jump down from this cliff.'  But Theodore looked at the height which was really great and said to Gerontius, 'It is high and I am afraid'. The devil said to him, 'In the eyes of all the boys you are considered braver than I, and you outshine me, but in this matter I am no coward and will throw myself down'. The boy answered him, 'Don't do it! You may lame yourself, or even be killed'. As the other asserted he could do the feat without any danger, Theodore finally said to him, 'If you will, then I will too'. So the devil standing with him on the rock jumped down, and alighting on his feet shouted up to the boy Theodore, saying 'See, I have done it! If you dare, come down too, that I may see your bravery: if you can, as in all else, distinguish yourself in this test too'.  Whilst the boy stood debating within himself full of fear at this utterly useless ordeal, and staggered at the boldness of the supposed Gerontius, who had never previously been so bold, George, the martyr of Christ, suddenly appeared and taking Theodore by the hand, led him away from the place, saying, 'Come, follow me, and do not listen to the tempting of him who is seeking your soul; for he is not Gerontius but the enemy of our race'.  And so saying the holy martyr brought him to his oratory.


One day when Theodore was staying in the chapel of St. George his mother and his mother's mother came up to him and with much coaxing tried to force him to come down home saying that they expected the visit of some important friends. But the boy could not be persuaded by them to go down, for he fulfilled literally the words of holy scripture which says, 'The friendship of this world is emnity with God, and whoever would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God.' [Jam 4:4] and 'No one can serve God and Mammon.' [Luke 16:13] He also regarded the wealth of the world as nought and wishing to get rid of it, he unbuckled his gold belt, took off his necklace and the bracelet from his wrist and threw them down in front of the women saying, 'You suspect that these things may get lost and it is because of them you trouble me. Take them then and begone! for I will not leave this place.'  And the women took them and went as they could not persuade him. For all his thoughts were towards the Lord Whom he imitated and in Whose footsteps he followed; he fled from his parents and ran to God; he gave up wealth and houses in order to be rewarded a hundredfold and inherit eternal life, [Luke 18:29] as the Lord who has promised this says: 'He that wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me !' [Mat 16:24]

For the boy nobly mortified his body, keeping it under and wearing it down, as though it were some alien thing which warred against his soul; and on his forehead he bore the Cross; and just as Peter and James and John and the rest of the apostles 'left all and followed Jesus' [Luke 5:11] so this boy likewise believed in the witness of the Scriptures and sought earnestly to mold his life thereon.


Further, he wanted to imitate David in his holy hymn-writing and accordingly began to learn the psalter. With difficulty and much labor he learnt as far as the sixteenth psalm, but he could not manage to get the seventeenth psalm by heart. He was studying it in the chapel of the holy martyr Christopher (which was near the village) and as he could not learn it, he threw himself on his face and besought God to make him quick of learning in his study of the psalms. And the merciful God, Who said 'Ask and it shall be given you', [Mat 7:7] granted him his request. For as the boy got up from the ground and turned to the icon of our Saviour in prayer, he felt a sweetness more pleasant than honey poured into his mouth. He recognized the grace of God, partook of the sweetness and gave thanks to Christ, and from that hour on he memorized the psalter easily and quickly, and had learnt the whole of it by heart in a few days.

And he would wander about to all the churches, 'with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs singing and praising the Lord' [Col 3:16]; and wherever a commemorative service in honor of a saint was being held, he attended it with joy. Similarly, on the occasion of the all­-night service for the holy martyr Heuretus held in the town of Iopolis, fifteen miles away, he left at the hour of supper and ran fasting to this service and after praying and partaking of the divine mysteries of Christ, he returned and reached his home at midnight. For he was an exceedingly swift runner, so much so that several times for a wager he ran a race of three miles with horses and outstripped them.


Taking instructions from proverbs - from such texts as 'And if thou hearest of a man of understanding, get thee betimes unto him' [Ecclesias. 6:36]: and 'With the holy thou wilt be holy and with the elect elect' [Ps 18:26 = LXX Ps. 17:26-27], he acquired a great affection for the servants of God and wherever he heard of a righteous man, he would go to him and learn his manner of life gathering like a busy bee the flowers of the man's virtues as if he were storing up food.

Now there was a certain holy father, Glycerius, by name, in a place called Trapezas about ten miles off, and Theodore went to him desiring to be blessed by him in order that like Elisha, the miracle-­worker, who after being blessed by Elijah received a double portion of his spirit and grace, he himself might also in a similar manner through the blessing of our Saviour be deemed worthy of greater virtues and graces. 'For the blessing of a father establisheth the houses and the labors of children.' [Ecclesias. 3:9] When the man of God saw him, having by divine aid learnt of the virtuous manner of life that was flowering in him, he received him cordially and smiling at him said, 'Do you like the monkish habit, my son?' to which Theodore replied, 'Yes, certainly, father, I like it very much indeed and I long to be thought worthy of it myself.'

Now there was a drought in that district, and they both went out and stood in the open air in front of the apse of an oratory of St. John the Baptist which stood there. Then the blessed man said to the lad, 'Let us bend our knees in prayer, son, so that the Lord may be merciful and send down rain on the earth, and by that we shall know whether we are among the number of the Just'.  Whilst they prayed, the sky became covered with clouds and after they had risen from prayer the Lord sent down much rain upon the earth. Filled with joy at His goodness the old man, with a smile on his face, said to the boy, 'From henceforth, my son, whatsoever you shall ask of the Lord, will be granted unto you. Therefore carry out your desire, and the Lord God will be with you and will give you increase both in bodily stature and in virtuous living'. When the boy had received the old man's blessing, he embraced him and returned home


By now he had reached the age of fourteen and decided within himself to bid a final farewell to his home and take up his abode in the martyr's oratory. And he did indeed bid farewell to the women, and went up to the oratory and lived there giving thanks to God; but as his mother and the women who lived with her still did not realize that he had irrevocably chosen his blessed mode of life and that his resolve was no youthful fancy, they used to carry up to him fresh white loaves, and divers kinds of boiled and roast birds. Theodore took them all indeed in order to satisfy them and because his fasting was in secret; however, he never touched any of these things but after his mother and her sister had gone down he would come out of the chapel and throw all the food out on the rocks and go in again, and the birds and beasts ate it up. Or if by chance a man passed by, he would take them from the rock. The boy's nourishment was from the gifts brought to him in the martyr's chapel and if sometimes these failed, he was content with bread alone.


Once he heard tell of a certain place called Arkea eight miles away that it was impossible for anyone to go near it, especially at the midday hour, because it was rumored that Artemis, as men called her, dwelt there with many demons and did people harm even unto death. As he was astonished at such a report he used to set off at a run for that place during the days of July and August, after he had recited the psalms set for the third hour, and would spend the whole afternoon there in the places supposed to belong to Artemis. And as no evil manifestation showed itself to him owing to Christ's protection, he returned to the chapel.

In this chapel Theodore dug and made for himself a dark cave underground beneath the step of the altar. On the night of the Feast of the Epiphany [In the Greek church the baptism of Christ in the Jordan is commemorated on the day of Epiphany, January 6th] when some of the clergy and laity had gathered round him he went down with them from the chapel to the ford of the river, and he alone entered into the water and stood there until all the reading from the prophets, apostles and Gospels was over as well as the rest of the liturgy; so that at the end of the service he could only with difficulty pull up his feet all covered with mud and icicles frozen on to them, and thus he re­entered the oratory with psalm-­singing. And when the day had dawned, he celebrated the feast and then retired to his underground pit where he lived in silence until Palm Sunday, so that all who saw and heard this raised their hands to heaven and said, 'We thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou didst hide these things from the wise and understanding, and didst reveal them unto this babe; Yea, Father, for so it was well ­pleasing in Thy sight'. [Matt. 11:25]

Now his grandmother, Elpidia, truly sympathized with him and loved him more than her two daughters; and she came up to the chapel and stayed with him all the time of his silence and ministered to him and gave him a little nourishment of fruit or some vegetable salad, but this only on Saturdays and Sundays, for the other days he touched nothing at all; and this abstinence he practised until Palm Sunday.

When Theodosius, at that time bishop of the town of Anastasioupolis, heard these things about Theodore, he rejoiced about him and spoke highly of him to all men, saying that it was through the stirring of God's spirit that he accomplished such things.


(Summary) A black unclean demon causes Theodore to fall ill from cold but is turned to flight by St. George, and Theodore is restored to health. The Saint gives Theodore a promise that the wicked demon will not trouble him in future. And the merciful God 'who gave to his holy apostles power against unclean spirits and to banish diseases' [Matt 10:1] gave to him also power against the demons to cast them out from men and to heal the sick.


After the feast of holy Easter a man appeared in the oratory one day with his only son who was troubled by an unclean spirit; and the man, emboldened by faith, besought the virtuous boy, Theodore, to heal his son. But the virtuous child of Christ did not know what he ought to do for him and indeed was greatly perplexed, for he was so young. But the father of the demoniac gave him a little whip and said to him with tears, 'Dear master, servant of Christ, take this and rebuke my child and beat him and say, "Come out, come out from this boy, you unclean demon, in the name of my Lord"'

The righteous boy did as he was told; and the demon was disturbed and began to disparage him and to call him an impostor, and if Theodore said anything to him the devil just repeated the same words, and for two days he gave him no answer at all. Then on the third day Theodore, the child of Christ, did as he had done before with the boy and the demon, now disturbed again, began to cry out; 'I am coming out, boy, I am coming out, I will not resist you, give me one hour!' Then Theodore moved away to the altar and the demon shouted out, 'Oh, the violence of the Nazarene who excites these forces against us ! for ever since He came down upon the earth He wins men against us, and now He has given authority to the son of the harlot to cast us out. Woe is me, wretch that I am, to be expelled by such a child! for I cannot withstand the grace which has been sent down upon him from heaven. Woe will come upon our kind from this harlot's action, because he will drive out many of us from men. But the dreadful thing for me is that he has made a beginning with me and I dare not return to my father the Devil, after being expelled by such a child. For if it had been done by an old man, my shame would not be great; accursed be the day on which you were born!' Whilst he was speaking Theodore, the child of God, took some oil from the lamp and touched the boy's head and with the sign of the Cross rebuked the demon saying, 'Come out then, you most wicked spirit, and do not talk so much nonsense!' And the demon with a shriek cast down the boy at his feet and went out of him. And the boy that was healed lay like a corpse, so that Theodore was in much concern and thought that he was dead. But the father said to him, 'Give him your hand, master, and raise him up. And immediately the boy came to himself and stood up, and through the grace of God Theodore restored him to his father in complete health. And this became known throughout all the neighborhood so that all gave glory to God who bestows wisdom and grace even upon children.


(Summary) Theodore determined to imitate St. John the Baptist by living in a desert place. So he went up into the interior of the mountain and there found a rock to shelter him. He dug beneath the rock and made for himself a spacious cave. He blocked up the entry and lived there in secret. At that time some soldiers were passing through the district. When the members of his family had searched for Theodore high and low - in the oratory and everywhere else - and could not find a trace of him they came to the conclusion that he had been carried off by the soldiers, and they urged the then governor of the province to arrest the soldiers and institute an inquiry about the boy. Since they still could not find him, they thought that he had been eaten by wild beasts, and his mother, his kinsfolk and their acquaintances mourned him for a long time as though he were dead. For two years Theodore remained hidden in the cave. A single pious deacon alone knew his secret; he gave to Theodore his tunic-for before that he had worn linen clothes-and brought him the scantiest fare, water and vegetable salad. He told no one where Theodore was hidden.


(Summary) But God made his virtue known to all men. Since Theodore's kinsfolk noticed that the deacon on many different occasions went up to the mountain, they suspected that he knew where the boy was; so they called him into the house and adjured him with frightful oaths to tell them anything he knew. On account of the oaths and in fear lest Theodore should die through the violence of his mortification he disclosed to them the place. With joy they went to the mountain and brought Theodore out looking like a corpse. They carried him to the oratory of St. George. When he came into the air he fainted and did not speak for a long time. His head was covered with sores and pus, his hair was matted and an indescribable number of worms were lodged in it; his bones were all but through the flesh and the stench was such that no one could stand near him. In a word people looked on him as a second Job. His relations besought him when he had regained consciousness to come home with them to be looked after, but he would not be persuaded.


When Theodosius, the holy Bishop of Anastasioupolis, heard how Theodore had been carried half ­dead out of his cave, he immediately went to him in the chapel. And when he saw him, he shuddered at the sores on his head, kissed him and ordained him 'lector' . . . And on the following day he ordained him sub­deacon and then priest, saying 'Behold, God deems you worthy to be granted, one after the other, the orders in the hierarchy of the Church, so that you can celebrate the sacred liturgy to the edification of those coming to the oratory; and may the Lord our God, the generous bestower of gifts in which He has made you to share, deem you worthy hereafter to be clothed with the office of bishop and entrusted with the care of a flock. For as you have now received the gift of these four talents and are soon to receive the habit of a monk, you are only short of one. May God give you that one, too, after you have doubled the number of your saintly deeds. Therefore advance in faith and in the flower of virtue and pray for me' And after blessing Theodore and embracing him, he returned to his city.

Theodore, the servant of God, was only eighteen years old at that time and consequently many people found fault with the bishop saying that the ordination was invalid, since Theodore had not reached the proper age. Whereupon the holy Bishop Theodosius replied to them, 'I, too, am well aware that it appears uncanonical to some to ordain a man contrary to the rules of age and without any witnesses. For the apostle Paul says in his injunctions to Timothy: 'Not a novice lest being puffed up he fall into the condemnation and snare of the devil.'

'But just as that same Paul judged Timothy, young as he was, worthy of a bishopric, so I too ordained this youth in the name of the Lord, and I shall never be brought to shame by his manner of life. For God assured me that he was worthy of the priesthood, and most certainly this boy is from God. Therefore do not regard his youthfulness, but regard rather the nobleness of his soul, just as Samuel was told concerning David. [! Tim 3:6] For "It is not the long­-lived that are wise, nor the aged that understand judgment' [Cf. 1 Sam 16.6 sqq] 'and, again, as Elihu declared in the book of Job "But there is a spirit of God in man and it is the breath of the Almighty which teaches" [See Job 32:8-9 in LXX] and works with the young, and renders their manner of life pious and virtuous.' After the bishop had spoken thus, all were fully satisfied with his words; and Theodore, the young athlete of Christ, made progress in wisdom and spiritual understanding, and the grace of God was upon him.


Now these doings of his childhood and youth have been written by me George, his unworthy servant and disciple; some of them I learnt from his contemporaries and school fellows, who lived and associated with him at that time and actually saw these things with their own eyes, but the majority of them I gathered from the lips of the holy and saintly man himself, when he lived alone and would narrate these things with pleasure in order to arouse in us a longing and desire for them. And I have written them after his death so that the young, through hearing of his virtuous manner of life as a child, may strive to emulate his angelic and blameless life, and be accounted worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven, through the grace of Christ our God to Whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory both now and for ever, world without end [lit: to the ages of ages]. Amen.

The Lord Jesus Christ, our true God, the sun of righteousness, the ineffable light, the ever-­flowing fount of immortality the life undefilled, the salvation of our souls, the giver of wisdom, inspired even me George, your sinful servant, with the passionate desire to tell, and you, my God­-loving readers, with a burning longing to hear the manner of life of our great and holy father, Theodore, now among the saints, for that life until its close was supremely virtuous and crowned with miracles.

For I have been deemed worthy to narrate to you the story of his early years. And in reliance on the prayers of you all, I now venture to take up the tale afresh, and I look to God to be my guide and to bring my task to its completion.


So then Theodore, the most holy servant of God, was deemed worthy of the priesthood by our Saviour God at the age of eighteen, and with godly wisdom he strove to show himself like unto a prudent man in accordance with the Lord's appointment, praised be His name. Thus he left his parental home which was built upon sand and all the earthly things therein, resolving within himself never to set foot in it again and in full assurance of faith he devoted himself body and so and with a sincere heart to God.

He founded his dwelling on the hallowed spot which was literally and figuratively made of rock [Matt 7:24-25], where there stood the revered oratory of the holy and glorious martyr George, in order easily to repel the attacks of alien winds and to ward off the uprising of the flood, that came like waters in their wake. And thus with his faith firmly based on the rock of Christ and with the help of the holy martyr commemorated in the oratory he spent his time on all the God­-inspired Scriptures deeming them to be the sources of eternal life. Most often did he ponder over the holy Gospel and he was continually pricked in heart, especially when he considered the descent from heaven of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, His incarnation and life on earth, and how He deigned to suffer and be crucified in Jerusalem, and to be buried and to rise again. Through marvelling and wondering that these things should have taken place on earth, he was seized with the desire to travel and to worship at the holy places of the Christ which His immaculate feet had trodden, and also because of the words of the prophet Zacharias, 'Every race and every tribe shall be accursed which goeth not up to worship them'. [Zach. 14:17]


And further as his mother and sister, his aunt and grandmother had come up to visit him, he bade them farewell, and finding by God's providence another willing and anxious to make the same journey, he took him as his companion and started out, forgetting all difficulties in his longing for the desired goal. When he reached Jerusalem, the ardently desired city of the holy places of Christ, he adored the Holy Cross, the place of the life-­giving Resurrection, the sacred manger and the glorious place of the Ascension and all the other holy spots commemorative of the saving Passion of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He further visited all the monasteries and the various fathers confined in cells round about the city, and the hermits in the inner desert. After receiving a blessing from them he would inquire into the manner of life of each of the more earnest ones, and recorded their answers that he might imitate their example. In his wanderings he came down to the Jordan where our Saviour and God was baptized, and arrived at the neighboring monastery of our Lady, the Mother of God, called Chouziba. After praying and saluting the archimandrite there and the holy fathers who were with him he begged them to grant him the angelic habit of a monk. As the archimandrite had been fully instructed by God about him he invested him with the robe of a monk without hesitation or delay. Then they all joined in the prayer that Theodore might prove well-­pleasing unto God and well­-reputed among men. When their spiritual joy and feasting on his account had had free course, he embraced them and after receiving their approval he left the monastery and returned to his own country, Galatia, and entered the oratory of the holy martyr George. There he dwelt with great joy, his face like Moses' shining with glory and grace, and he further built himself up by fasting and sleeping Oil the ground, by vigils, and by psalm ­singing; in consequence he received from God an inflow of still greater gifts of grace to strengthen him in his fight against unclean spirits and all kinds of diseases.


Now his mother minded not the things of the Lord but the things of the flesh, and did not feel for her son that intense longing and affection for their children which like a fire consumes some mothers. She left her most holy son, took the portion of the inheritance due to her, and was joined in marriage to a notable man, David by name, a leading citizen (protiktor) in the metropolis of Ancyra.

But her sister, Despoinia, and her mother, Elpidia, and the Saint's sister, Blatta, could not bear to be separated from him, but rather through observing his virtuous life they strove as far as possible to imitate him, purifying and ennobling themselves by sobriety and chastity, by almsgiving and prayers. When Despoinia died she left him all her worldly goods and was buried by him in the church of the holy martyr, St. Gemellus. And his sister, Blatta, a virgin of twelve years old the most holy man took to the metropolis of Ancyra and placed her in the charge of the dedicated virgins in the convent called Petris; and after she had received the habit of a nun he dedicated her to the Lord, for she was winning many victories in her spiritual life, and then he returned to his own place. His blessed sister lived three years and then passed to her rest having borne testimony by her good works; when her most holy brother, who had also been her guide into the Kingdom, heard of her death, he sent her forth as a bride to the heavenly bridal­-chamber and rejoiced in Christ. His grandmother, the blessed Elpidia, loved him exceedingly and sympathized with him, and would often come up and view his ascetic contest and glorify God who had made a rose­-bearing, fruitful bough of piety to grow out of the thistles of harlotry and had raised up a child of Abraham out of useless stones. [Cf Matt 3:9] And stretching forth her hands to heaven she prayed for him that his mind should remain undisturbed and raised above material things ever giving glory to God, and that he should keep his faith 'steadfast and unmoveable' [1 Cor 15:58] unto the end.

She also left her rooms in the inn and gathering all her belongings together wanted to remain with him always in order to enjoy still greater gladness and at the same time to minister to him. However, he would not allow this, but asked her to come to the convent of St. Christopher lying to the East and there he persuaded her to remain. And the children who came to him plagued by unclean spirits he used to send to her (especially if they were girls) to receive treatment and to be taught their duties by living with her and that those who wished to remain after they were cured might be enrolled among the nuns.

And for such services as he himself required he hired a man from the neighboring village of Kastina.


(Summary) A man, inspired by a passionate love of God, came to Theodore from the village of Spaninae and asked to be allowed to stay with him. This was granted and he became so zealous a disciple after receiving the habit of a monk that he healed a man tormented by a demon.

On another occasion a woman came from the village of Konkatis, suffering from a serious malady of the womb. She was cured by the Saint's prayers, and then left for the village of Mossyna, also called Enistratos, where her son, Philoumenus, was teacher in the children's school. Him she brought to the Saint asking that he might live with him. (There is a lacuna in the MS. towards the end of this chapter and the close of this incident is lost.)


There lived in this village (presumably Mossyna) a very excellent smith-him the holy man ordered to make a very narrow iron cage that he might enter therein and standing in it pass his days of fasting. So the men of the village impelled by faith one and all brought their agricultural tools in order that his bidding might be executed, and in this way the cage was fittingly finished for his holiness.

He wanted to take it away at once and return to his own monastery, but the men of the village begged him to leave it there until they made a second one of wood on the same pattern, and to do them the favor of passing his accustomed period of seclusion in it the following winter, so that they might have it as a protection in memory of his holiness and afterwards they would give him the iron one.

He gave the promise on these conditions; then they assembled and accompanied him with a religious procession and reestablished him in his sanctified place during the Great Week of our Saviour's Passion and afterwards returned to their own homes.

Then they made the wooden cage and in the following winter they returned with a religious procession and fetched him and escorted him to their village. And he entered into the wooden cage, which was standing in the church of St. John the Baptist, and in it he observed his fast from Christmas to Palm Sunday. On that day he came out and the inhabitants of the village formed a religious procession and carrying the iron cage accompanied him and restored him before the feast to his own place. After receiving his blessing they returned to their homes. He had the cage suspended above the cave on the face of the rock in mid­air, and ordered iron rings to be made for his feet, fifteen pounds in weight, and similar ones for his hands, and a cross with a collar of eighteen pounds weight and a belt for his loins of thirty-three pounds and an iron staff with a cross on it.


He further wished to have a very heavy corselet, and by God's foresight a man came and brought him a coat of triple mail called a 'lorica'; weighing fifty pounds, which the saint accepted and gave thanks to God who speedily fulfills the desire of them that ask in faith. But he feared for himself because his body continued to grow more lusty, and because he was assailed by the passions of the flesh; so he invented for himself a perpetual bond of remembrance by immediately hanging the two rings round his feet and determining never to take them off but carry them with him even to the grave. When the day of the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ came round on which He was born of Mary the all­-Holy Virgin and Mother of God, he put on the corselet over his hair­ tunic, girt on the iron belt, placed the cross round his neck, the circlets round his hands and in this guise entered into the cave practising abstinence till the 'Paralepsis'; then coming out of the cave again he went into the cage, keeping under his body and bringing it into subjection by the confined space and by fasting, by frost and by the weight of the irons hanging round his body. By these means he humiliated and put to shame the power and the varied attacks of the enemy. He did not touch any bread at all nor even any pulse from Christmas day to Palm Sunday, his sole food was an apple or a salad of vegetables, and this only on a Saturday and Sunday.


The prescribed amount of his psalm ­singing was great, so that he would rest for a while and then repeat the same Psalms over again, and the fatigue from this under wintry conditions was beyond all description. For when a snowstorm came and the wind was blowing he was shot at by the violence of the wind as with an arrow while the snow fell and often the water coming in at his neck would run down under his tunic to his feet, and his hair­garments were drenched with water. When a frost came the ice caused him no little anguish and his feet would freeze to the boards on which he stood. For from cockcrow on he forced himself not to move his feet at all from the platform on which he stood and not even to lean forward, even for a minute, against the iron railings of his cage until the evening.

So that in the earlier periods for two years when the frosts were so severe that even trees and large jars were split asunder, his feet became glued to the boards and in the evening when he pulled them up his feet were, so to say, 'stripped', as the soles of his feet remained on the boards, like sandals.

He endured this for two years, but from that time on, when his feet were held fast by the frost, his attendant would take warm water and pour it on his feet and thus the frost which held them was gradually thawed and he could move from his narrow platform.


Another time when the feast of Easter fell towards the end of the month of April, and the sun had been shining very fiercely during Lent as in summer, it happened that owing to his abstinence and the brilliant sunshine he fainted and fell down inside his cage as if dead. So Philoumenus, beloved of God, covered the cage with his cloak to make some shade for him. But when the athlete of God came to his senses and saw the garment shading the cage he was very indignant and upbraided Philoumenus severely and bade him tear it away and never do so again. Now God 'who glorifieth them who glorify Him' [1 Sam 2:30] wished to prove that it was through faith - not from the desire to please men, but from a single-­hearted devotion to God-that Theodore had been led to choose this manner of life, and of this He gave manifest witness and assurance enough to al1 since wild beasts in the presence of the Saint became quite tame and mannerly, while from him there came a stream of mighty miracles wrought amongst men.

At the beginning of his period of seclusion in the cage a most formidable bear used to come to him for three successive years and on receiving some food (eulogia) from his hand would go away quietly without doing an injury to any of the bystanders - Again, a wolf came to the entrance of his cave when he was shut up there and stood waiting. His servant, Marinus by name, went out and suddenly catching sight of the beast was terrified and ran in and told the Saint about it - but he, smiling a little, said, 'Do not be afraid, you coward, where is your manhood? for the wolf has not appeared to do you any harm but driven by a belly like yours it has come in search of food. So take this, brother, and carry it out to him so that not only in the case of men but also in that of wild beasts the commandment of God may be fulfilled which says, "Give to everyone that asketh thee' [Matt 5:42] So the servant took a piece of bread and a slice of apple from the store of food from which the Saint was wont to give presents (eulogiae) to his visitors, and going out threw only the slice of apple to the beast and tried to drive it away. The wolf seized and ate it, and then stood still again and would not budge, just as if something were still owing to it; then the servant threw the piece of bread, too, and it at once galloped off, and he went in and told his master of the impudent conduct of the animal.


(Summary) Theodore while in seclusion in the cage cleanses two lepers-one by blessing some water and pouring it over him after signing him with the sign of the Cross - the other, a priest named Epiphanius, known as Kollouras, from the village of Dioskonis, by lending him his tunic to wear.


(Summary) Elpidia the blessed, Theodore's grandmother, was utterly filled with all joy and delight at his virtuous mode of life and at the shining glory of his miracles She had carefully provided everything necessary for the support of the women under her care; some had renounced this world, others were ill, and she had already created a very fine convent. She now came to the days in which she was to die and during this time because of an intense longing for him, but still more because she somehow foreknew that it would be a farewell visit, she stayed closely by him, praying with him and singing with him . . . Later after a slight illness she passed away peacefully in her sleep and was buried by Theodore with due honor.


(Summary) A man came from the metropolis of Ancyra and brought the news of the death of the Saint's mother, Mary, so that he might send and receive her dowry, as she had died childless; Theodore did not pay even the slightest attention to this but said to the messenger, 'You are lying and not speaking the truth; for my mother has not died'. On the other's insisting on the fact that he had seen it with his own eyes he again replied to him, 'I told you that you are not speaking the truth; for my mother has not died and is not dying; Heaven forbid! but she is present with me and is alive and will remain with me for ever'.  And he continued to give no more thought to the matter; but he made supplication to God on her behalf, while E fasting for a week, imploring Him to grant her forgiveness for; her failings.


One day the treasurer of the holy church of the town of Heliopolis, Theodore by name (also called Tzoutzus) came when the Saint was in seclusion shut up in his cave, and through his servant he unfolded the following story to him with many tears. 'Have pity on me, oh servant of God, for the tragedy which has befallen me! I sent my elder son to collect the church­ taxes from the villages and he has taken the whole sum and made off! and though I have run about and searched for him everywhere I have not been able to find him. I therefore implore your holiness to pray to God to restore him to me, because all my substance is insufficient to pay back to the Church the large sum he has taken.'

And the holy man sent this reply to him, 'If you will agree that when he is found you will not give him a beating nor compel him to give up more money than the amount he stole God will be entreated and will restore your son to you; but if you will not consent to this, he will not be restored to you.' Then the father agreed to these terms on oath and said, 'If you bid me, I will also give him some of my own money, if only I receive the dues belonging to the Church which he has taken, so that I or my children may not be made destitute by repaying them.

Then the holy man prayed to the Lord to hold up the man who had committed the theft in whatsoever place he might be and to make known with all speed where he would be found. And the Saint sent a message to the father saying, 'Go and stay at home and do not worry nor be anxious about him - for I trust in God to restore him to you soon if you carry out what you have promised.

The man believed him, since several times before he had received assurance of his miraculous powers, and went home with joy, regarding the Saint's promise as a pledge that could not fail.

Now the holy man's prayer reached the son in a place close to the city of Nicaea and did not allow him to depart thence, but he kept wandering about in a circle in that one place and never got any further, though he seemed to himself to have travelled a long way. In that same place there happened to be some men who knew him and the treasurer and had already heard talk of what had happened, so when they recognized him and saw the senseless way in which he was walking they asked him many times where he came from, and where he was going. Finding that he gave contradictory answers they laid hold on him, and sent word to the treasurer. The latter came and took the stolen gold away from him and returned to the holy man giving thanks to God.


A woman once came with her husband from the village of Kalpinus during the days of Lent and she was being evilly treated by a demon. When the Saint rebuked the demon, the latter cried out saying, 'Oh ! violence I do not be angry with me, iron­-eater, servant of the Most High, do not send me away into the fire of punishment. For it is not I who am guilty, for I entered into this woman against my will, at the command of one Theodotus, surnamed Kourappus, of the village of Mazamia'.  The servant of Christ said to him, 'Behold, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, not to trouble her in her works from now on until she comes back here again'. The demon became quiet and then the Saint told the man to take his wife and go back home and gather in their crops and afterwards return to him. They did as he ordered, went home, secured their summer crops and their vintage and then went back again. As they entered into the church of the Archangel and saw the Saint's face, the demon began to torture the woman savagely; her husband declared on oath saying that she had not been troubled by the demon at all from the day that he received the Saint's command until that moment. They stayed there one week and as the demon could not bear the rebukes of him who was truly a worker of miracles, he cast the woman down at the feet of the Saint and went out of her. The woman was quite cured and departed with her husband for her home in great joy.


On another occasion in the village of Mazamia, which lies on the Upper Siberis in the territory of Mnezine, a large swarm of locusts appeared about June and covered the district like a cloud and ate up the summer crops and the fruit of the vineyards. When the villagers saw this terrible scourge, which had come upon them, having heard of the miracles wrought by the Saint they came to him in a religious procession, threw themselves at his feet and besought him to come and by his acceptable prayers free them from this ill which was afflicting them. He accordingly went with them and lodged in their Orthodox church of St. Irenicus (for he was ever wont to lodge in a church). On the morrow he led a religious procession to the plain and ordered the villagers to stand in a certain place and pray to the Lord for mercy. He himself took three locusts in his hand and stood praying to the Lord about them. And whilst he prayed the three locusts died in his hand; then after giving thanks to the Lord he said to the people, 'Let us return to the church, children; for the Lord will speedily show His mercy in our midst'. And so, having recited the holy liturgy, they returned to the church of St. Irenicus. On the morrow the villagers went out to the plain and found every locust dead; and they glorified God.


But he that is ever envious of good deeds and the doers thereof and of the servants of Christ aroused in Theodotus, a special vessel of his, envy at this miracle and the determination to kill the holy miracle-­workers.

Theodotus dwelt in the same village as the Saint and was a skilled sorcerer, thoroughly versed in wickedness. The Evil One did not know that not only would he fail in his projected plan and be put to shame, but would also be punished by being deprived of his instrument of wickedness. Theodotus had seen the miracle of the locusts performed by the Saint, and he also remembered how the demon who served him had shortly before been cast out of the woman. He himself had put the demon into the woman, and the demon after his expulsion had returned to him. Thus incited by the enemy who haunted him and inflamed by the malice of his attendant demon he sent his envoys to attack the Saint and, if possible, so to injure him that he should die.

Those who were sent did not dare even to show themselves to him face to face whilst he was awake but waited for his hour of sleeping; and then stealthily, like thieves, they sought to attack him-thieves indeed they were and powerless to harm him openly.

But the divine power which guarded him routed them; however the bolder in wickedness among them had the effrontery once more to draw near to him to wreak their wickedness and again the grace of God like a fire issuing from him scorched them and drove them away. After they had assaulted him several times seeking to do him injury and had always suffered in the same way, they at last returned shamefacedly to the man who sent them. He questioned them why they had returned without accomplishing anything and taunted them, 'Why, your power is nothing', he said, 'since you were not strong enough to approach and put your spell upon him even when he was asleep, how then are you going in future to meet him face to face?' The envoys retorted, 'We are more anxious than you to prove ourselves able and invincible in the missions on which you send us; but when we tried to approach him, a great flame of fire issued from his mouth-not natural fire which we despise-but divine fire which lives in him-and we were scorched; that is why we came back with nothing done. We attacked him, too, through his food and drink, but the blessing which he always says over it made all our power to harm him of no effect.'


Meanwhile Theodotus, still greatly vexed in spirit by his defeat, became yet more infuriated. With great skill he inserted a deadly poison into a fish and charged some other agents of his to see to it that the Saint should eat the fish. But when the Saint through the grace of God and through the blessing which he said over the fish did not take any harm then indeed Theodotus was ashamed at the failure of his murderous designs and reflected upon the weakness of demons and the power of God which is so great and marvellous that it prevails even over demons and poisons and locusts. Becoming sober after the intoxication which was the devil's work, he came to a recognition of God and went and threw himself at the Saint's feet, wailing and weeping and begging to obtain mercy. But the Saint questioned him to learn the reason of his lamentations and supplication, whereupon he then related to him in detail the story of his plottings and the answers of the demons and also revealed to him the diabolic craft he possessed to the hurt of many souls, and implored the Saint both to release him from it and also to grant him holy baptism. And the Saint replied, 'If you wish to be received by God and deemed worthy of pardon from Him for these doings, then first of all make a full confession of all your deeds, and if you still have any book of magic bring it forth. Then loose from the spell of your magic every person whom you have bewitched and every house or beast or anything else, whatsoever it be, and in future never put a spell on anyone but devote yourself to repentance; and I will implore God to grant you forgiveness for your past sins. For God receives those who repent for "He willeth that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth." [Tim 2:4] And the magician promised and swore that he would fulfill all the Saint's behests; he brought all his books of magic and burnt them in Theodore's presence and asked to be baptized. After the Saint had given him instruction and cleansed him by fastings and works of charity he gave him the bath of incorruption, [Cf. Titus 3:5] and thus added him to the ninety and nine sheep that had not strayed, and by this act proved himself one who put into practice the teaching of James, the Lord's brother, for 'he converted the sinner from the error of his way and saved his soul from death and covered a multitude of sins'. [Jam 5:20]


After the Saint had returned to his monastery, it happened that he fell so ill of a desperate sickness that he saw the holy angels coming down upon him; and he began to weep and to be sorely troubled. Now above him there stood an icon of the wonder­-working saints Cosmas and Damian. These saints were seen by him looking just as they did in that sacred icons and they came close to him, as doctors usually do; they felt his pulse and said to each other that he was in a desperate state as his strength had failed and the angels had come down from heaven to him. And they began to question him saying, 'Why are you weeping and are sore troubled, brother?' He answered them, 'Because I am unrepentant, sirs, and also because of this little flock which is only newly­ instructed and is not yet established and requires much care.' They asked him, 'Would you wish us to go and plead for you that you may be allowed to live for a while?' He answered, 'If you do this, you would do me a great service, by gaining for me time for repentance and you shall win the reward of my repentance and my work from henceforth.' Then the saints turned to the angels and besought them to grant him yet a little time while they went to implore the King on his behalf. They agreed to wait. So the saints departed and entreated on his behalf the heavenly King, the Lord of life and death, Christ our God, Who granted unto Hezekiah the King an addition unto his life of fifteen years. [2 kings 20:6] They obtained their request and came back to the Saint bringing with them a very tall young man, like in appearance to the angels that were there, though differing from them greatly in glory. He said to the holy angels, 'Depart from him, for supplication has been made for him to the Lord of all and King of glory, and He has consented that he should remain for a while in the flesh'.  Straightway both they and the young man disappeared from his sight, going up to heaven. But the Saints, Cosmas and Damian, said to the Saint, 'Rise up brother, and look to thyself and to thy flock; for our merciful Master Who readily yields to supplication has received our petition on your behalf and grants you life to labor for "the meat which perisheth not, but endureth to everlasting life" [John 6:27] and to care for many souls.' With these words they, too, vanished.

Theodore immediately regained his health and strength; the sickness left him and glorifying God he resumed his life of abstinence and the regular recital of the psalms with still greater zeal and diligence.


Through the grace bestowed on him by God Theodore continued to work many miracles against every kind of illness and weakness, but especially did he make supplications to God for aid against unclean spirits; hence, if he merely rebuked them, or even sent them a threat through another, they would immediately come out of people. Some persons were so profoundly impressed by these miracles that they left their homes, journeyed to him, and entering upon a life of contemplation Joined the monastery; others again who had obtained healing would not leave him but stayed with him, giving him such service as he needed.

Now since the oratory of the holy martyr George was small and could not contain those who recited the offices as well as those who stayed with the Saint and others who came up to pray, he built on its right hand side a very fine house (dedicated to Michael, the holy commander-­in­-chief of the angels) which was comfortable both in winter and summer; on its left it had a small oratory dedicated to St. John the Baptist, and one on the right dedicated to the most blessed Mother of God, the ever­-virgin Mary. In this house he ordained that the community of Brothers should officiate in order that both those who were waiting either to be healed of an illness, or for the expulsion of evil spirits, and those who had come up to pray, might rest awhile in the hallowed church of the Archangel which was open day and night, and listen to the service and join in the prayers and find healing.


(Summary) Theodore sends his fellow­worker, Philoumenus, to the bishop of Anastasioupolis to be ordained priest and abbot of the monastery in order that Theodore might be freed from the cares and toils of the office.


As through the grace of God the size of the holy and venerable monastery was greatly increased, a need was felt for holy vessels of silver (for the existing ones were of marble); so the holy Theodore sent his archdeacon to the capital, Constantinople, to buy a chalice and a paten of silver for the service of the immaculate mysteries. The archdeacon went and bought from a silversmith a pure and well­-finished vessel, so far as concerned the quality of the silver and the workmanship, and he brought it back to the monastery.

Before the celebration of Communion on the morrow, the archdeacon brought the chalice and paten into the vestry, uncovered it to show it to the Saint and to use it for the Oblation. But when the Saint looked at them he recognized through his gift of discernment the manner of their use and their defect, and condemned them as being useless and defiled. But the archdeacon, who looked at the appearance and not at that which was hidden, pointed out the perfect and well­-wrought workmanship and the quality proved by the five­-fold stamp upon it and thought by these facts to convince the Saint. But the Saint said, 'I know, yes, I know, son, that so far as eyes can see it appears a beautiful specimen of craftsmanship and the worth of the silver is evident from the stamps on it, but it is another, an invisible cause, which defiles it. I fancy the defilement comes from some impure use. But if you doubt it, pronounce the verse for our prayers and be convinced.' Then whilst the archdeacon chanted the verse of Invocation, the Saint bent his head in prayer, and after he had filled the chalice, the chalice and the paten turned black as silver does when it leaves the fire of the oven. The brothers, seeing this, glorified God who made invisible things visible at the hands of His servant. When the archdeacon took them and locked them up they appeared once more as pure silver; then he returned to Constantinople and gave them back to the dealer in silver and told him the reason. The latter made inquiries of his manager and his silversmith who fashioned the vessels, and found out that they came from the chamber­pot of a prostitute; he told the archdeacon the blunder that had been made and begged him to pray that he might be forgiven for his mistake, at the same time marvelling at the Saint's foreknowledge. He gave him other pure and very beautiful vessels and these the archdeacon carried to the holy servant of God, and reported to him and to the brothers the cause of defilement in the earlier vessels, and they all gave thanks unto God.


In the village of Buzaea, which belonged to the city of Kratianae, the inhabitants wanted to build a bridge over the torrent which ran through it, as the latter often became swollen by many streams and could not be crossed. They hired workmen and when the work had almost reached completion and only a few stone slabs were still needed to finish it the workmen at the Devil's instigation went to a certain hill not far off and dug out some slabs from it on the excuse, vas some said, that they were needed for their work; but the majority said that they had stolen away a treasure that was hidden there. Then there issued from the place where they had dug for the stones a host of unclean spirits; some of them entered into sundry men and women of the village and afflicted them savagely, others again brought illnesses upon the remaining inhabitants, while yet others hung about the roads and the neighborhood and did injury to beasts and travellers; hence great misery arose in the village and despair at the misfortunes in their homes and in the countryside. Then they bethought themselves of Theodore, the servant of God, and by prayers in his name they tried to exorcize the unclean spirits when they showed signs of activity, and they found that the spirits showed no little fear when his name was uttered over them, and became docile and were reduced to subjection. With all speed, therefore, they made for the monastery and by dint of many supplications they persuaded him to come with them. When Theodore drew nigh to the village the spirits which were afflicting men felt his presence and met him howling out these words: 'Oh violence! Why have you come here, you iron-eater, why have you quitted Galatia and come into Gordiane? There was no need for you to cross the frontier. We know why you have come, but we shall not obey you as did the demons of Galatia ­ for we are much tougher than they and not milder.'  When he rebuked them they at once held their peace. On the morrow all the inhabitants were gathered together, and those possessed by evil spirits surrounded the Saint who had ordered a procession of supplication to be formed which went right round the village and came to the hill from which they said the demons had come out. Then he tortured them by the divine grace of Christ and by the sign of the holy Cross and by beatings on his chest, and after offering up prayers for a long time he bade them come out of the people and return to their own abode. They uttered loud shouts and tore the garments which covered the sufferers and threw them down at his feet and then came out of them. But one very wicked spirit which was in a woman resisted and would not come out. Then the Saint caught hold of the woman's hair and shook her violently and rebuked the spirit by the sign of the Cross and by prayer to God and finally said, 'I will not give way to you nor will I leave this spot until you come out of her !' Then the spirit began to shriek and say, 'Oh violence, you are burning me, iron-­eater! I am coming out, I will not resist you, only give us something that you are wearing'. The Saint loosed a sandal from his foot and threw it into the hole in the hill whence they had entered into people and straightway the spirit hurled* the woman down at the feet of the Saint and came out of her.

Then the Saint halted again and prayed to the Lord that He would drive together all the spirits, which were still remaining in the neighborhood and in the roads to the injury of travellers, and would shut them up once more in the place from which they came out. And through the grace of God they were all collected, and to some who saw them they looked like flying blue­bottles or hares or dormice, and they entered into the place where the stones had been dug out, which the Saint then sealed with prayer and the sign of the Cross, and bade the men fill up the hole and restore it as it was before. He then led the procession back to the village, and from that time on that place and the inhabitants of the village and all the neighborhood remained safe from harm to the glory of Christ our God, the prime author of healings.

And the Saint returned and came to his monastery.


(Summary) Theodore is asked to go to Herakleia in the province of Pontus to pray in the church of the Virgin in Herakleia.* Theodore similarly frees the house of Theodore Latzeas, a distinguished landed proprietor, from demons who had come out of an excavation made in his house and had thus caused great suffering in the family and in the city as well. In Herakleia and on his return journey he performed many miracles of healing.


On another occasion, as great mortality was occurring among men and oxen in the metropolis of Ancyra, leading citizens (protiktores) of that metropolis came to the monastery to the servant of God and took him and led him away to their city. Some among them had daughters who were nuns in the convent of the Holy Mother of God, called Beeia and they besought the Saint to bless and strengthen their daughters in their faith; and they persuaded him to lodge there and to pray for them.

The Saint appointed a day of supplication when the whole city and neighborhood assembled and he went in procession with them and offered prayers to God and thus released them from the plague which held them in its grip; and to stay the deaths among the oxen he blessed water for sprinkling over the cattle and thus freed them, too, from death. The inhabitants of the city thereupon gave thanks to God and accompanied the Saint to his monastery.

The river Siberis, as it ran through the village of Sykeon near the monastery, passed close by the cornfields and was undermining the arable land and little by little was carrying away much of the soil; so the Saint, trusting fully in God, came and ordered the river in the name of Christ to change its bed and no longer approach the cornfields. After planting a wooden cross and offering a prayer, by the grace of God he induced the river to quit those fields. In the same river several men had met a violent death when crossing it, so this ever-memorable man went right into the middle of the river at the spot where the accident had occurred and by offering fervent prayer to God he, by the mercies of Christ, made the river, from that time forth, always safe and easy to cross.


A boy, called Arsinus, who had an unclean spirit and suffered terribly was brought to him from a monastery. The Saint received him but was not anxious to cure him quickly as he said that such chastisement was beneficial to him for some time. When the boy was fully grown up he begged the Saint s to ask God that he, too, might be cured as all the others were . who came to the Saint. The Saint replied, 'If you will agree to adopt a good and strictly disciplined mode of life your request shall be fulfilled and you shall very soon be deemed worthy of healing'. And Arsinus agreed to these conditions. As the servant of Christ wished to go and inspect the convent of the holy martyr Christopher, he took Arsinus with him. And when they reached the deep valley of the Xerorruax, thinking that in this place the proper time had come, the Saint stood and prayed to God concerning him. And as the demon was disturbed he began to suffer and was actually raised from the ground, and while Arsinus was hanging in the air the demon wailed and said, 'I am coming out, iron-­eater, only release me and I will go out at once'. And as the demon said this he suddenly saw that Christ's holy martyr, Christopher, was also present, coming to meet Christ's servant; so he howled more loudly and tore the boy grievously and dashed him down at the Saint's feet and went out of him. And when Arsinus came to himself Theodore took him with him and went to the convent of the martyr Christopher. There by his prayers and by his admonitions and strict precepts he fortified the nuns who dwelt in the convent, and he encouraged them to lead a holy life - a life befitting their vows with fear towards God and modesty toward man. For great fear of him came upon them.


After Theodore had returned from this convent to his own monastery Arsinus obtained a small cell from him in which he shut himself up, living in perpetual seclusion, and every third day eating some bread and a few vegetables or pulse and drinking water, while in Lent he ate the same food but only on Saturdays and Sundays. There were two others, Evagrius and Andreas, who adopted this severe mode of life, living each in his own small cell near Arsinus and striving earnestly to accomplish the salvation of their souls so that the great servant of God shared their joy and prayed over them and glorified God. After some years the idea entered their hearts to travel to the Holy City and worship at the holy places there; and as the three were of one mind about this they fell at the feet of the most holy Theodore begging him not to forbid their desire but to dismiss them with his blessing. They were dismissed and went off and offered their prayers and Evagrius decided to remain there; he entered the Laura of Mar Saba, lived a life of virtue there and showed by his deeds that he was a disciple of the inspired and holy father, Theodore.


But Arsinus and Andreas turned to Galatia to the most holy Saint and begged him to give them his permission with his blessing to go away and live in seclusion in different places by themselves. He offered prayers for them and gave his approval of their purpose, and then they started, each to a place which gave him satisfaction. Andreas settled eight miles from the monastery on the hill by the village Brianeia, and there lived a strict and virtuous life; he also made a wooden cage and suspended it in the air and remained shut up in it from Christmas day to Palm Sunday, and he continued the same self­-discipline which he had practised in the monastery.

Arsinus, on the other hand, went up to the country Lying round the upper reaches of the river Siberis and came to the village of Galenae; he found a place to his liking outside the village, which was a haunt of demons and was eager to stay there. So he stood and prayed to God saying, 'Oh Lord, the God of my father Theodore, save me, a sinner, through his prayers and help me in my endeavours and my strivings to please Thee in this place'. And straightway he confined himself in a wooden cage and passed that winter in it; afterwards he built a very lofty column and went up on to it, and continued to practise his usual abstinence and every form of virtuous self-discipline. After he had persevered therein for forty years and bound on his brows the crown of endurance as a worthy disciple of Christ's servant, Theodore, he fell peacefully asleep.


There were many others, who had been instructed by the holy miracle­-worker, our father Theodore, and were adorned with every virtue; some of these died after passing their life near him, while others let their light shine in divers other places. Of these one was Reparatus, the son of high­born parents, who entered the monastic order after being prepared for it by Theodore's encouragement and counsels and by the convincing evidence of many miracles. Then he was instructed in works by him, and by him was bidden to settle in a small cell in the village of Kolonosos in Lycaonia, where he lived a very godly life in imitation of his teacher. Another was Elpidius who after some years' instruction in the monastery, having conducted himself there in seemly fashion, went away later to the East near Mount Sinai and there dwelt in seclusion practising strict self-­denial until his death; because of his seclusion and his piety the fathers in those parts nicknamed Elpidius 'Hesychos' (or 'the secluded one').

Leontius who lived in retirement near the village of Permataia had also been instructed for some years by the all-­holy servant of Christ; he followed so fair and virtuous a rule of life that he was occasionally deemed worthy of the grace of prophecy, and foretold the invasion of the lawless Persians which took place later. He said that he himself would be killed by them; and this actually occurred, because he refused to leave his cell and interrupt his seclusion; so he died a martyr's death.

And Theodore who practised strict virtue on the hill of Dracon was instructed by him and took the habit; later he became the abbot of the monastery of Saint Autonomus. Stephen again, the abbot of the monastery of St. Theodore near the river Psilis, was a pupil of his and had been judged worthy by him of taking the habit (of monk); he also lived a life of virtue. And very many others there were, though because of their number I pass them over in silence, for I do not wish by lingering over an account of their doings, to shorten, and thus leave incomplete, the eagerly desired story of their and our great shepherd. (Close of chapter omitted.)


A great longing seized Theodore to travel to the Holy City, Jerusalem; so he took two brethren and started on his journey. At that time there was a great drought in Jerusalem and all men were straitened because the pits and cisterns were dried up; for the city itself and the neighboring monasteries collect the water for their needs from the rain which falls from the houses and then conduct it into pits and cisterns because there are no natural springs or fountains. Consequently the lives of all, both of men and beasts, were endangered by this lack of water, and though they made supplications they did not gain their request, as God was evidently reserving this favor to redound to the praise of his great servant.

Now it happened that some men from Galatia were there who knew this great servant of God and the miracles worked by him, and they spoke about him in the Holy City and in the monasteries to those they chanced to meet and said, 'We have a holy father in our country who by one single prayer can fill the whole world with rain to the full, as Elijah, the prophet, did in the time of Ahab, King of Israel'.


When the Saint reached Jerusalem and had adored the life-bestowing Cross and worshipped in the Church of Christ's Holy Resurrection and had gone round to all the sacred places in the city and to the monasteries, the monks, who had already proclaimed his miracle-­working way of life, when they had seen him, now talked about his presence both in the City and the monasteries. And so priests sent by the Patriarch as well as monks and the most illustrious citizens came to him and besought him to propitiate God on their behalf by his prayers, that He might send them rain. However, he asked to be excused, pleading that he was unworthy of so great an honor, but they declared that they believed that, if only he would join in prayer with the other fathers, they would certainly be deemed worthy of the gift of rain. And he said to them 'Now, t as you say you believe, so shall it be for you'. :

And he bade them order a procession with prayer and he said to those taking part in the procession who had changed into their best clothes, 'Take off these garments, children, that they may not get drenched through and you be vexed in spirit thereat; for I say unto you that according to your faith God will speedily show his mercy on your behalf'. So they went in procession and halted for prayer at a certain spot by the Saint's command, and there he spread out his hands to heaven and prayed to the Lord for a long time. Whilst he prayed a small rain-­bearing cloud appeared coming up from the West; and when he had finished his prayer and had bidden them turn homewards, the sky grew black with clouds and the rain began to come down in torrents so that they returned at a run and their clothes were soaked, and thus the procession ended with hymns of praise to God. So through the virtue of the prayer offered to God by His servant the rains spread over the country like a river, and all the pits and cisterns were filled.

But in order to avoid being troubled by the crowd when this miracle became noised abroad, he quickly left the City and returned to his monastery.


Similar wonders to this he performed during a time of great drought in other places also which were not far from the monastery.

In a village called Reake a threatening cloud would periodically appear suddenly over the countryside and pour down hail­stones upon the vineyards, when the fruit was ripe; and the men of the village were in great distress as they had not been able to enjoy the fruits of their husbandry for several years. Accordingly they came to the monastery and entreated the blessed man and brought him back with them to their village. He formed a procession of supplication and they went round the vineyard and the fields and, after offering prayer, he placed four wooden crosses at the four angles of the boundary line and after doing this returned to the monastery and through his holy prayer that threatening cloud never overshadowed that village again. In return for this benefit the men of the village from that time to the present day yearly bring to the monastery a fixed measure of wine and grapes of various kinds.


Omitted as being similar to ch. 45.- Here the river Kopas is forbidden to encroach on the village of Karuas.


At that time Tiberius of pious memory was ruling over the empire, and after appointing Maurice, the Chartularius, as general he sent him to the East to the Persian war to fight against them. And after Maurice had defeated them he was, ordered by the Emperor to return to the capital. As he was passing through the districts of Galatia he heard talk about the servant of Christ (These were the days of the blessed man's abstinence and he was in seclusion in his cave.)

Maurice went up with his brother Peter and his attendants and fell at the Saint's feet and begged him to pray for them that their journey to the Emperor might have a happy issue. The blessed and glorious man bade him stand up and prayed to God for him, as if by divine revelation he said to Maurice, 'My son, if you bear in mind to pray to the holy martyr George, you will shortly learn to what glorious post in the Empire you are called; only, when you reach those heights be sure to remember the needs of the poor'. When Maurice asked to know precisely what dignity he meant to which he should be called, the Saint led him apart from his companions and told him plainly that he would become emperor.

After Maurice and all the men with him had received the Saint's blessing he left with joy and reached Constantinople.

And according to the Saint's prophecy Maurice succeeded to the imperial throne on the death of Tiberius, and remembering Theodore's words he sent him a letter asking him to pray for him and for his Empire that it might be preserved in T peace and untroubled by enemies and bade him make any request he liked.

The blessed man sent the most blessed Philoumenus, the abbot, to the Emperor and also wrote a letter in order to secure some small gift of food for the monastery to meet the needs of the poor who looked to them for support. On receiving the letter the Emperor made a grant to the monastery of 200 modii of corn annually, and sent it to him together with a chalice and a paten.


(The fame of Theodore spreads ever more widely and the monastery continuously gains new recruits.)

When the blessed man saw the vast crowds that assembled and realized that the chapel of St. George was too small, he gave the rest of the money he had inherited to build a church worthy of the holy martyr George with three apses and an oratory on the right dedicated to the holy martyr Plato.

A trench was being dug for the foundations of the building which was to be set apart for the catechumens and dedicated to the holy martyrs Sergius and Bacchus. This lay higher up the hill. The workmen had blasted several rocks with fire and vinegar and then rolled them down (the land being uncultivated and rocky), when they happened to come across one enormous rock which they got out and tried to roll down into the garden behind the apse: but it stuck in one place and could not be moved in any way. After a large number of workmen had tried hard for a long time and yet could not move it, the servant of God hearing about it came to the place, touched the rock and said, 'Blessed Lord, move it away from here further down, for we need this space', and at once at his words it moved and began rolling down at a violent pace. Now right in its course stood an apple tree, and as it was likely to be caught by the rock the blessed man was grieved at heart and cried out, 'Go to one side of the tree and do not do it any harm !' And immediately, like an intelligent person, the rock bent aside from its attack on the tree, and passed it by without hurting it.


Again, at the place called Arkea, which we have spoken of before (ch. 16), the men of the village of Euarzia, eight miles from the monastery, had burnt unslaked lime for the building of the church; then they loaded the lime on their own wagons and on many others that had come to help from the neighboring villages, and the saintly God-­inspired man was also present. They had started and were making for the holy monastery; when they were about half way, they were overshadowed by a large cloud. From it there fell a heavy shower of rain. The farmers were terrified and desperate, thinking that their wagons and oxen would be burnt by the lime because of the downpour of rain. As the Saint was walking behind them they began to shout to him at the top of their voices saying, 'Quick, master, we and our beasts are threatened with death', and they began with all haste to unharness the beasts from the wagons. But the Saint caught them up and prevented their unyoking the oxen from the wagons. Standing and stretching up his hands to God he prayed; then he mounted on the leading wagon and sat down and went on his way singing psalms. And immediately the cloud was split in two, and it rained to the left and to the right of their road, so that the water from both sides ran underneath the wagons, but above them not even a single drop of rain fell; in this wise they were saved and reached the holy monastery glorifying God Who works marvels through His servant.


(Summary) The church is completed and Theodore foretells that a bishop of that same place will dedicate it, God intending to grant to Theodore a yet further sign of his favor by making him a bishop.


After the death of Timotheus the Bishop of Anastasioupolis, the clergy and the land­owners living in that town went to the metropolis Ancyra to the most blessed Archbishop, Paul, and asked him to appoint the great servant of God, Theodore, the archimandrite of the monastery of Sykeon, as bishop of their most Holy Church. Paul was greatly pleased at their excellent choice and gave them permission to fetch the Saint. (Now it was the time when he gave himself to prayer and he was shut up in seclusion in his cave.) So when the clergy and landowners of Anastasioupolis reached the monastery they went up to the cave and begged him to give himself to them as their shepherd; however, he absolutely refused to listen to their request and would not yield himself to their wish; so they resorted to more forcible means and fetched him out of his cave and placed him in a litter and carried him off. The monks of the monastery and all those who were staying there grieved and lamented at his being separated from them, so the Saint sent them a message by a brother saying, 'Do not be in any way cast down, children, for believe me I shall certainly never forsake you; for nothing on earth shall separate me from my life with you'. When he reached the metropolis, Ancyra, the most blessed Archbishop Paul received him with joy and ordained him bishop and gave him much encouragement, telling him how someone in Anastasioupolis at that time had seen in a vision a very large and radiant star coming from heaven and standing above their church, shining and casting its light over the town and all the surrounding countryside. On leaving the metropolis of Ancyra holy Theodore went to Anastasioupolis with the most holy bishop of the town of Kinna by whom he was enthroned.

Like the star that had been seen he continued to cast his light over the city through his divine gifts of healings, his continual fastings, his hymns of praise to God, and his generosity to those in want; in a word, through all his virtues and good deeds he exalted the renown of the city which had welcomed him, inspiring in the citizens such a virtuous activity that their city became the envy and the admiration of other towns and thus it really proved its right to its name of 'Resurrection' (Anastasis). It was fittingly entitled the city of Anastasius (Anastasioupolis); it rose to fame not from its fortifications and the embellishment of imperial gifts: not from the size of its population or from the exceeding wealth and power of its prosperous inhabitants, but rather because it was enriched by such deeds of the inspired man as we have described and on account of these deeds it was fortified not by men alone - it was its fortune to be ruled and inhabited also by angels, and to be always under the oversight and guardianship of the heavenly King Christ. It was upon these that its courage and its victories were based.


(Summary) Theodore consecrates the church which he had built to the holy martyr George amid scenes of great rejoicing. He then returned to Anastasioupolis where he worked many miracles, the sick would be brought on beds for him to touch them; and such was the grace bestowed on the Saint by our Lord Jesus Christ that if he merely rebuked evil spirits, or often even if he only sent his rebuke through a messenger they would immediately hasten to leave their victims.


(Summary) Another time when the Saint was in seclusion in the chapel of St. Plato and had given orders that no woman should be admitted, a man came to the church with his wife who was afflicted by a demon and quite beyond control. She broke the candelabra in the church. A servant came and told the Saint about the woman. He had laid down as a rule for himself that standing or sitting he should not leave a narrow platform. He gave to his servant some consecrated oil with which to anoint the forehead, hands and ears and bade him command the demon to depart and it did so. The woman was never after possessed by the demon.


Although many such miracles were daily wrought by the Saint through the grace of God abiding in him, a certain deacon of the cathedral in Anastasioupolis, called Dometianus, disbelieved in them and was not a little sceptical and was offended in him. Now one day, a Sunday, a man from the metropolis of Ancyra came to the Saint and brought his son who was dumb.

As they arrived at the time of the administration of the Holy Communion in the Orthodox church of the Holy Wisdom they went up to participate; and when the boy yawned, the Saint said to him, 'Say Amen, child!' and the child immediately obeyed him and pronounced the 'Amen'. The father began with a loud voice to glorify God and to proclaim the wonder that had been wrought. Whilst all present were amazed and singing praises to God the Archdeacon Dometianus suddenly fell to the ground. Some of the clergy rushed forward and lifted him up; he was all trembling, so they asked what had happened to him. And he answered them as follows: 'When the boy pronounced the "Amen", and the father cried out that he had been freed from dumbness, I did not believe that he spoke the truth but thought he was falsely claiming for the Saint a fraudulent glory and then I saw as it were a flame of fire come out of the child's mouth.' After saying this he was supported and led to the Saint, at whose feet he fell and besought him to offer prayers for him so that the power and wrath of the Devil which had issued from the boy might not come to him. After the Saint had heard the whole tale, he said to the deacon, 'This has happened to you, my son, because you cherish some unbelief in your heart about the gift of Christ which is shown in healings; but cast it aside, "be thou faithful and not unbelieving'' [John 22:27]. For it is not we, but our good God, Who even now works these miracles (whatever they may be) so that we may not have any excuse for saying that He has shown no sign in our time, and )that through beholding these miracles we may also believe in those which took place before us in the lifetime of the saints and thus increase in faith and serve God wholeheartedly.' After the blessed man had spoken thus, the deacon himself confessed his unbelief and when the Saint had prayed for him he was freed from his shuddering and his fear and continued in health and from henceforth he would come to the Saint in complete confidence.


(Summary) Theodore visits Jerusalem for the third time having as his companions on the journey John, the archdeacon from his own monastery, and Martinus from the village of Dougaia, out of which he had cast a legion of devils. He decides not to return to his own country but to spend his life in one of the monasteries in Jerusalem, for he thought that, since he had been absorbed in the cares and administration of his bishopric, he had fallen away from the monastic standard.


(Summary) He goes to the monastery of Mar Saba and lives in the cell of a brother named Andreas; when the time for his period of seclusion came round, Andreas made him a seat and on that he sat without rising from Christmas to Palm Sunday. After Easter his companions urge him to return to his bishopric, but he refuses to leave the monastery. St. George appears to him in a vision and bids him start at once for Galatia; Theodore seeks to resign his bishopric but St. George promises him that, if he returns, he will shortly free him from his burden as bishop, only he must not desert his palace, nor leave his flock without attendance. On waking Theodore obeys and returns to Anastasioupolis.


(Summary) On his return journey with two disciples they reach the monastery of Druinoi in Galatia and enter it to rest there. Anicetus, the guest­-master, is curious about the father's identity which the disciples had been forbidden to reveal. However, by an incautious remark made by Theodore himself at dinner, 'In truth children, we have eaten like Galatians', the secret can no longer be kept. The abbot hears the news with joy and at the night service he and all his monks join in procession with lighted candles to meet him at the door of the oratory of St. Paul and fall at his feet and then welcome him warmly. They prepare a feast for him and ask him to stay with them and rest from his journey for several days. This he consents to do on condition that he may be 'bedmaker' during his stay.


(Summary) The news of his being in the monastery soon spread and many flocked to it in order to receive his blessing; others brought their sick to be healed. A woman brought to him a dumb boy; Theodore opened the boy's mouth, breathed into it and made the sign of the Cross over it and straightway the boy spoke. Another boy was brought to him who was quite unable to walk; the Saint moved back from the boy a little way and then said, 'Come to me, child, in the name of the Lord'. Immediately the boy left his mother's side and walked across to Theodore.


(Summary) He is then invited to the neighboring monastery of St. Stephen, known as Vetapes, and is next taken by Amiantus, the bishop of Kinna, to that town that he might bless it. He is met by a procession and a festival is celebrated in his honor. He returned to Druinoi and then started for Anastasioupolis; on the journey crowds assemble to receive his blessing.


(Summary) On the way he cured a dumb youth with the same method of healing as in ch. 65 (save that in this case Theodore breathed into the mouth three times) and the saying of the 'Amen' as in ch. 61 . In this case also he had previously given the youth 'the holy body of Christ'.


(Summary) The inhabitants of Anastasioupolis welcomed his return. A paralysed woman was brought on horseback on a pack­saddle; he directs them to take her to the monastery: he followed two days later. He bids the paralytic hold on to the railings of the pulpit; he takes oil from the 'unsleeping lamp' and makes the sign of the Cross on her forehead, hands and feet and bids her go to her own house rejoicing: she then walks without support.


The Saint once gave orders to some carpenters to make a wooden chest for storing corn and pulse for the monastery's use. And he commanded them not to touch any meat until the work which he had ordered was finished, and that then they could go to the village and eat. (For meat was never eaten in the monastery all the year through, except on three saints' festivals when the crowd which came to the festivals were fed.) A few days after the Saint had gone away to Anastasioupolis, the foreman brought in some meat secretly and ate it, whereupon he was immediately stricken with fever and lay half­-dead, and his life was despaired of. When the Saint in Anastasioupolis heard the news about him from a brother who had come from the monastery he said 'Verily the saying of the Holy Scripture is true, "Obedience is life, disobedience death!" For the man had disobeyed my injunction and eaten meat in the monastery and that is the reason why he is ill'. He left the city and came to the monastery and going to the place where the sick man lay he said to him, 'Do not conceal from me what you really did, brother; for you ate meat, did you not?' and the other answered that that was so. The blessed man then said, 'Now see and recognize, that it is not God who sends wrath upon us, but we bring it upon ourselves. Believe me, brother, that when I did not allow you any meat I did not do so from miserliness as you supposed but in order to preserve the purity and sanctity of this holy place. Rise now in the name of Jesus Christ, finish your task and for the future take care not to disobey'. Then be blessed him and placed his hand on him, and the man was at once relieved of the fever; he got up the same day, and began to finish the rest of the work.


(Summary) When the Saint had returned to Anastasioupolis a man came to the monastery and with the abbot's consent remained in the church of the holy martyr George, though visitors generally remained in the church of the Archangel. The Saint in Anastasioupolis is told by St. George in a vision that the visitor had secretly taken some pork into the chapel of St. George; he sends a messenger to the abbot, Philoumenus,who makes a search and discovers the pork in the possession of the visitor.


(Summary) Aemilianus, the bishop of the town of Germia, invited Theodore to stay with him. They meet in the church of the Archangel at Germia. At that time the annual festival of the Mother of God in the village of Mousge took place which was held conjointly by the Bishops and the inhabitants of the two towns of Germia and Eudoxias, in each case the whole town turning out in procession and meeting at Mousge. Theodore accompanied Aemilianus and on arrival at the church a woman named Eirene who had been grievously afflicted by evil spirits for many years and who was bedridden caught sight of him from outside the church. Then she was moved by the spirits and throwing off her cape and her covering she forced her way with loud yells through the crowd in front of her, reviling the blessed Theodore, the demons cursing him since they were humiliated through his presence. On seeing her the whole crowd began to repeat the 'Kyrie eleison' (Lord, have mercy!). But the woman was lifted off the ground and with her hands bound above her head she was carried through the air from the pulpit to the rails of the sanctuary, while the demons kept on crying out that the Saint was making appeals to God against them, but after the reading of the Gospel she was borne down to the ground and lay at the entrance to the sanctuary and licked the dust with her tongue. After the service Theodore turned towards her, seized her by the hair and in the name of Christ ordered the evil spirits to depart from her. This they did, wailing as they went. On the death of her husband and children she bade farewell to the world and took up her abode in a cell near the church of the Virgin where she lived as a solitary. Later Theodore returned to Anastasioupolis.


There came to visit him the chief elder of the village Araunia Andreas by name and he kept him several days.

Then it happened that Andreas' child, named Cometas, fell grievously ill and was at the point of death. So as the child was at the last gasp and not uttering any sound nor recognizing anyone the men of the village prepared his grave and his mother in Anastasioupolis sent the elder John to convey this news to her husband, so that he might hurry home to his child's funeral. At that hour the holy Bishop Theodore after reciting the liturgy was taking some food; Andreas, the father of the child, was with him. When the elder John who had been sent had arrived he told Andreas the reason for his coming. And when the blessed Theodore heard it he did not allow him to leave at once, saying, 'I, too, will come with you, for I want to go to my monastery and visit the brethren; but first let us enjoy the good things given to us by God and then we will start For I trust in God that we shall find your child alive; for he is not dying now but he will recover and be given back to you in good health'. After saying this he bade the elder John, who had brought the message, to come in also and eat with them. After they had risen from table the blessed man went to the village and all the inhabitants came out to meet him with torches and censers. As it was evening he went into the church and having blessed the crowd he read the evening office and then went away to the house of the chief elder Andreas. Seeing the child failing fast he stood in prayer and besought Him who has power over life and death, Christ our God, to restore the child's life and give him back alive to his parents. After his prayer the Saint nodded and spoke to the child, who opened his eyes and looked hard at him but was unable to give him any answer (for he had also lost his power of speech). Again bending his head the servant of God prayed to the Lord to fulfill his prayer and to raise up the child in health. And having finished his prayer he spoke to the child saying, 'Cometas, look up and tell us how you are and give an answer to your father that he may not grieve about you'. Again the boy opened his eyes and looked at him intently and gave him an answer to his questions. Then having made the sign of the Cross on his forehead, on his hands and on his feet the Saint took the boy's right hand and made him sit up saying, 'In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ Who raised up the dying child of the centurion do you rise up and be well, for it is He also who now gives you life'. And he commanded that some thing should be given him to eat.[Cf. Mark 5:43] So they brought him food and he ate. Being invited to supper by the parents the Saint allowed the elder John to carry the child and bring him in to supper. So the elder John holding the child at supper gave him from the dishes placed before him so that the child took more food than the others and all who saw it joined in great joy with the parents glorifying God Who gives life even to the dead at the request of His servants. On the following day the child, now restored to health, began to walk. And the blessed man left the village and went to the monastery.


During those days he welcomed a saint of the desert gifted with foresight, Antiochus, as I believe he was styled, who was returning from Constantinople to the East. For he had gone up to the Emperor Maurice to ask his help on behalf of a town which had been pillaged by barbarians. He had eyebrows that met each other and was an African by race, about one hundred years old, and the hair of his head was as white as wool, and hung down to his loins, and so too did his beard, and his nails were very long. It was now sixty years since he had touched wine or oil or other drinks; and he had not tasted bread for thirty years. His food was uncooked vegetables with salt and vinegar and his drink, water. The facts about each other had been revealed to him and to Saint Theodore. And the blessed Theodore told the brethren about him and said, 'Never in the whole desert of the East have I seen or heard of such a worthy servant of God'. And in his turn the just man from the East said to the disciples accompanying him concerning the holy Bishop Theodore, 'I had never met such a holy man up to now; for God declared the facts about him to me'. And his disciples when they had heard this took bits from the hem of Theodore's garments for a blessing. When the brethren of the monastery went to meet him to do obeisance Antiochus was indignant and with the interpreter's help he stopped them saying, 'As you have such a shining light and holy apostle of Christ why do you come to do obeisance to me who am like a wild beast and imperfect and of no account? Pay attention to him and award honor to this holy man who is worthy of praise and admirable who conducts himself in the world in a manner pleasing to God and treads its pleasures underfoot and by his teaching turns many souls to God'.


Evening came and after reciting the holy liturgy they sat down together to eat their short accustomed meal; and after this the Saint wished according to his custom to wash the African's feet, but he would not allow that but they washed each other's hands. In the morning the servant of God was in a hurry to depart so as to accomplish the journey which lay before him. But Saint Theodore, having learnt by revelation that the other's death was near and wishing this to take place in his monastery begged him to stay for a time and rest from the weariness of the journey. But the other besought him to let him go saying, 'My departure from my body is at hand and I am hastening, if I possibly can, to reach my own cell'. So Saint Theodore went out and accompanied him to Anastasioupolis, and he set before him the difficulties and worries which beset him in his episcopal work, and the break it had made in his rule of life and the slackness in his monasteries which was due to his absence and asked him what he thought was the best thing for him to do in the circumstances and whether according to his own desire he should relinquish the office of a bishop and be free to return to the company of his monks. The African advised him that the latter course would be right and that he should do it quickly that he might be innocent in the eyes of God. Theodore then gave him for his use the horse on which he himself used to ride and one brother to accompany him as long as he wished and thus sped him on his way from Anastasioupolis. They kissed and embraced each other and then separated. The blessed man returned to the bishop's house and said of the other that he would not be able to reach his own place as he would very shortly be leaving his body and so it happened. For a few days later report was brought of his falling asleep while he was still on the highroad.


The writer explains that Theodore's desire to resign his bishopric arose from the fear of neglecting his contemplation of heavenly matters if he were too much involved in earthly' business. The villages belonging to the Church were a constant source of trouble.


For Theodore used to entrust the administration and the governance of the properties belonging to the church to men of the city and injustice was done to the peasants; in one case for instance he had entrusted them to a leading citizen (protiktor) of Anastasioupolis, Theodosius, by name; and he continually acted unjustly and defrauded the peasants. So they a came to the servant of Christ and met him in tears, and he, moved with sympathy, grieved over them, for his holy and sensitive soul could not bear to see any one in trouble. He summoned Theodosius and with many admonitions besought him to cease his acts of injustice against the peasants. But Theodosius again invented some pretexts against the villagers and continued in his unjust treatment, whereupon in one of the villages, called Eucraous, when he was proceeding to his usual acts of injustice, the peasants of the village were roused to uncontrollable anger; they all gathered together with a common purpose, armed themselves with divers weapons and swords and catapults, and took up their stand outside the village to meet him, and threatened him with death if he did not turn back and leave them. When he saw them all prepared in this way for battle and surmising that he would get the worst of it, he left them and returned to Anastasioupolis as if with the intention of coming to attack them in greater force.

But when the holy man heard what had happened, he spent that day in much weeping and groaning, bearing in mind that, if this rising should by chance come to a head and many be killed, he himself would incur unforgettable dishonor as having been the cause of such a calamity, while it would be no easy task to clear himself from responsibility for the souls that he had endangered. So he fell to the ground on his face and worshipped and thanked the Lord for having prevented this outbreak of anger from coming to a fatal end. And he summoned Theodosius and informed him that in future he could not retain the administration of the villages lest some disturbance should arise in their midst.

Theodosius, however, asserted that it was at his, Theodore's, instigation that the rising of the peasants against him had taken place; then he barked out various insulting remarks at him and shouted a perfectly unjustified accusation of prodigality at him and finally kicked the chair on which he was sitting so that Theodore fell on his back on the floor of the council­-chamber in front of them all. Thereupon the Saint got up and in a very gentle voice solemnly declared to them that he would not continue as bishop among them, but would return to his own monastery. Not satisfied even with this Theodosius still attacked him, threatening him with the fine of two pounds of gold which it had been stipulated should be paid by either party who did not abide by his contract, alleging that through Theodore he was being ousted from the villages before the time which had been fixed in the agreement. But his wife remonstrated with him and said, 'Let there be no quarrel between you and this holy man lest instead of a blessing and a prayer, which we have not had from him, we may get a curse and be doomed'. But he would not stop to listen to her, and again one day he went up to the bishop's house to vex him and to summon him to court on the matter. But when the porter had gone in to announce him to the Saint, suddenly great dread fell upon him as he stood waiting, and there appeared to him a young man of terrifying aspect and brilliantly clad, who threatened him angrily and who said, without wasting words, 'You villain, is it thus you oppose the great man and never cease causing him constant annoyance and sorrow? - here and now I forewarn you, that if you do not submit to him, great wrath will come upon you and you will end your life most miserably'. And with these words he vanished. Theodosius remained speechless for a considerable time and when he had recovered a little the Saint summoned him, and he went in and fell at his feet weeping, beseeching the bishop to forgive him for the many annoyances he had often caused him, and agreeing never to trouble him again about the fine of two pounds.


It happened that once, I do not know how, the Saint was poisoned by some men of Anastasioupolis, and he lay in his cell in the bishop's house speechless and immovable for three days, so that the report spread that he was dead. But after the third day our Lady the Holy Mother of God, Mary, appeared to him pronouncing, 'Woe' upon the wicked men and condemning them; and made known to him the reason of his illness and the names of the conspirators. Then she took three pills out of a napkin and gave them to him saying, 'Eat these and after that you will have no pain'. He thought he took them and then immediately awoke from sleep and arose glorifying his Saviour Christ and His Immaculate and Holy Mother. And he published the reason of his illness but fore-bore to mention those who had caused it, but on the contrary prayed to God to forgive them.


(Summary) Murmurs now arose that Theodore by his constant giving of alms was wasting the substance of the church, although out of the 365 'nomismata' allotted to him for his household expenses he only used 40 in the whole year and gave all the rest to the Church. And at times when he stood reading the portion of the Psalms appointed for the day, he was interrupted and was forced to break off in the midst of his prayers to settle questions of administration. While he was troubled by these distractions he found that the brothers in his monasteries were leading a careless and barren life through his absence and considering whether they should not move elsewhere. He reflected that he would have to render account concerning his monks in the day of judgment and was much troubled and thought long over all these difficulties.

He therefore laid the matter of his resignation before St. George in prayer and besought God that he might without condemnation deliver up his bishopric. He received assurance that his request was granted. So he summoned a meeting of the clergy and landowners of the town. They had refused to listen to his protests, he said, and had persisted in making him their bishop, though he knew that he was unfitted for the government of the church. 'And now this is the eleventh year that I have troubled you and been troubled by you, I beseech you, therefore, choose for yourselves a shepherd in whom you may find satisfaction, one who can take charge of your affairs.' As for himself, henceforth he was no longer their bishop, but as a humble monk he was returning to the monastery in which he had vowed to serve his Lord all the days of his life. Bidding them farewell he set out for the capital of the province, Ancyra, taking with him John, the archdeacon of his monastery.

And that night a man of the city saw, in a dream, how a bright and radiant star, casting its light over the city and standing above the church, moved away and was taken from them and then could scarcely be seen far away in the distance. When he saw this, he understood that it had its fulfilment in the holy man's departure from the city.


The servant of God journeyed to the metropolis, Ancyra, and there he met with the most blessed metropolitan, Paul, and begged him to accept his resignation; however, Paul asserted that he could not let a man of such virtue resign. After much argument one with the other finally they both decided to refer the matter to Kyriakus, the most blessed Patriarch of Constantinople, and to abide by whatever order he should send. So they both wrote; the blessed Theodore sent his requests to the Emperor Maurice of pious memory as well as to the most blessed Patriarch, Kyriakus, advising them to accept his resignation; but the metropolitan expressed his annoyance at this request to the most holy Patriarch and said he would await hls commands.

And the most blessed Patriarch Kyriakus wrote to the metropolitan to grant Theodore's request-for the Emperor had ordered him to do this-and at the same time to bestow upon him the bishop's 'Omophorion' [A wide band of embroidered stuff, corresponding to the Western pallium] so that he would retain his rank, because he was a holy man and it was through no fault of his that he was resigning his bishopric. On receiving this order the metropolitan relieved the blessed Theodore of his bishopric; and when the latter brought his petition of discharge, he bestowed the episcopal 'Omophorion' upon him and advised him to keep away from the neighborhood of Anastasioupolis until another bishop had been appointed in his stead. Theodore therefore left the metropolis of Ancyra and came to the region of the town of Heliopolis and hid himself in the oratory of the Archangel at Acrena, quite close to Pidrum.


One day when he was celebrating the Eucharist in that same oratory of the Archangel, his countenance became bright and a joy to behold, shining with great glory and grace. One of the brothers present, a pious priest, Julianus by name, who had noticed the brightness and joy of his countenance, fell at his feet in private saying, 'One question I want to ask of you, father, and for the Lord's sake I beg you satisfy me on the point'. After the Saint had given him his blessing and persuaded him to rise promising to answer his question, Julian began, 'When you are offering the oblation, father, some days no change takes place in your face, but on most days we see your face shining brightly with great glory and filled with such deep delight that each one of us shares in the gladness which springs from your great rejoicing; so it was today when we looked at you. Do tell me, for the Lord's sake, what the cause of it is.' But the servant of the Lord tried to evade any explanation. However, the other adjured him earnestly and implored him to tell him about it. Then Theodore said to him, 'If you will promise me never to relate it to anybody, I will tell you the reason'. After the priest had taken an oath never to divulge the secret to anyone before the death of the Saint, the blessed man said to him, 'When you see me rejoicing during the oblation, know that I am rejoicing because of a vision; for I see a very bright veil as if it were actually descending upon the Holy gifts while I offer them, and whenever I see that I rejoice and exult; and because I do not always see it, therefore my face is not always cheerful. And when I do not see it at the usual time, I lengthen the prayer of oblation while waiting for this vision which to­day also I was deemed worthy to behold'. The priest Julianus kept what he had heard secret and told no man of it until after the Saint's death. On hearing that a bishop had been appointed in Anastasioupolis the blessed man returned to his monastery rejoicing and glorifying God and by divine grace he worked many miracles on the sick that came to him.


(Shortened.) Among the sick who came to him was a certain priest called Paul who was brought on a horse from a monastery in Lycaonia. His right hip was dislocated and his head was bent down towards his left foot-so that he could neither stand nor could he lie down flat on a bed-he was a piteous sight He had tried many baths and medicaments but all to no purpose. The blessed Theodore ordered him to stay three days in the monastery; and then when he had learnt the facts about him, he said to him, 'If you wish to be restored to health go back to your own country and be reconciled with him who has a grievance against you, and return before winter and God will give you health'. Paul however denied and said he had no difference whatever with anyone, then the holy man stopped him very sharply and said, 'Come, do not tell lies; you are at enmity with your abbot and have failed to obey him'. (And in fact Paul had engaged in great strife with him.) Paul then confessed the truth and begged Theodore to relieve him of his continuous pain before he started on his journey back This the Saint did by ordering him to have his clothes removed, then he rubbed his limbs, which were diseased, praying over him and anointing his whole body with a salve made of wax But the crookedness still remained; his attendants lifted him on to his horse and he returned to his own country. There he was reconciled to his abbot and came back to the monastery in the winter. The Saint was enclosed in a very narrow cell in the monastery of the holy Mother of God and through his prayers Paul was led back to health and loosed from the malady which bound him. He was told to take a walk each day near the monastery, supporting himself on a staff which Theodore gave him and coming daily for a blessing. Later he was given a longer staff, and after Easter Theodore gave him yet another with these words: 'Hold this in your hand and go back whence you came; for very soon you will be deemed worthy of perfect health. But when this staff falls from your hand do not trouble to pick it up again.' After receiving a blessing the priest departed to his home, and one day while he was walking the stick fell from his hand; remembering the Saint's words he made no effort to recover it. He was completely restored to health and spoke to everybody of the miracle. Through the Saint's influence he was appointed priest to the oratory of the Mother of God in Sycae, in Constantinople, in the quarter of Galatius (as the district was called), and later he became bishop of a town in Isauria.


About that time the holy servant of Christ received letters both from the Christ-­loving Emperor Maurice and from the blessed Patriarch, Kyriakus, and from the magnates urging him to come up to Constantinople, the imperial city, and give them his blessing. Consequently, being thus compelled, he travelled to the divinely protected city, and after greeting the most blessed Patriarch, Kyriakus, and the Emperor and the senate and pronouncing a suitable blessing in each case, he sat down to table with them. The Emperor and the Empress and all the officers of the bedchamber shewed a tender regard for him and accorded him much honor. Further, by their sacred decree they bestowed upon his monasteries the right of sanctuary and transferred the appointment of abbots in them to the apostolic throne of the most holy great church of God in the imperial city so that they should not be subject to any other bishopric. Thus through this regulation by the dispensation of God and by the co­operation of the holy martyr George those who had renounced this world in these monasteries and those who celebrated the liturgy in them all alike received encouragement. During the short time Theodore stayed in the capital God through him performed great miracles in the City.

[We have thought it unnecessary to translate in full chapters 83 to 96, which describe the miracles performed by Saint Theodore while in Constantinople, but since there is in them material which may well be of interest to students of magic and of healings of the possessed we give a brief summary.]


A woman living near Saint Theodore in the quarter of Sporacius brought her blind child of four years old to the Saint who was lodging in the quarter of Varanas (or according to another reading, ch. 93, Euarane). He made the sign of the Cross over her eyes and blessed some water: with that she was to bathe her eyes every morning. This was done for three days and on the fourth day the child saw clearly. Her mother had previously been paralysed, Lying on her bed for seven months, but was cured by the Saint's prayer.


The slave girl of a magnate had been possessed secretly by a demon for twenty­-eight years so that she was always ill and did not know what caused the malady. Her master brought her to the Saint praying that either by death or a restoration to health she might be liberated from her sickness. Saint Theodore took hold of her head and prayed that the cause of her illness might be made known and driven away. Immediately the demon in her was disturbed and tore her, shouting: 'You are burning me, iron-­eater, spare me, strangler of demons, I adjure you by the God who gives you power against me.' Theodore bade the demon be silent and told the girl to return in a week's time. On the following Wednesday she came and once more the demon in her became excited and abusive: 'Oh this violence that I suffer from this harlot's child! Twenty-­eight years I have possessed this girl and none of the saints found me out, and now this harlot's son has come and has made me manifest and handed me over to dread punishment. Cursed be the day on which you were born and the day that brought you here!' Theodore rebuked the demon with the sign of the Cross: 'Even if I am the harlot's son, nevertheless to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God I bid you in His name leave the girl and never take possession of her again.' The demon shouted in reply: 'I do your bidding and go out of her, but after three days she will die.' The Saint answered: 'Come forth and the will of the Lord be done. For a God­-fearing man may not trust you, since your words are vain and false.' The demon tore the girl, threw her down at the Saint's feet and went out of her. And she, coming to herself, said: 'It is through your holy prayers, father, that I have been healed, for I saw the demon coming out of my mouth like a foul crawling thing.' Theodore prayed over her and dismissed her, bidding her remain in the church for seven days. And the word of the demon proved to be false, for after some days the girl and her master returned to the Saint giving glory to God.


A woman who was paralysed was brought to the Saint by her attendants: he bade them put her on the ground: he seized hold of her head with his left hand, and stretching out his right hand to the East, he prayed to the God Who gives healing and had cured the paralytic. He anointed her with oil, made the sign of the Cross over her, raised her up and straightway she began to walk.


One Peter, a merchant's son, was smitten by a demon and 'was devoured in his heart'; he did not know the cause of his sickness. His father brought him to the Saint who recognized the cause of his trouble and took him to his cell. He made the sign of the Cross over his face and struck him over his heart saying: 'Do not hide yourself, unclean spirit, for your working is disclosed. The Lord Jesus Christ Who knoweth secret things bids you come out of him.' And forthwith the demon was set in motion and shouted: 'I am coming out, iron-­eater: I will not disobey you, for I cannot bear your threats. I cannot bear the fire which proceeds from your mouth and scorches me.' This and much more the demon said, and then, loudly wailing, left the sufferer who, coming to himself, said to the Saint, 'I saw the demon, as he freed himself from me, in the form of a black woman and he was chased by you through the window howling at the top of his voice'. Theodore told the boy to wait for a day and on the morrow he restored him to his father cured of his malady.


A sailor had been put under a spell by someone and was troubled by an unclean spirit: his limbs trembled and he suffered from many other symptoms so that he was reduced to penury. The Saint prayed over him and blessed oil with which he was to anoint himself and dismissed him. After some days the sailor returned cured to the Saint: his affairs were prospering and 'by way of fruit-­bearing and as a memento' he brought the tackle of his boat to Theodore who was only induced to accept it after much insistence.


A wrestler, wrought upon by an unclean spirit, suffered terribly in his head and all his limbs and came to the Saint for healing. Theodore prayed over him and gave him wine and oil: 'Go, my son,' he said, 'to your home and when you lie down to sleep on your bed in the evening anoint yourself with the wine and oil and whatever you see in a dream come and tell me.' The next day the wrestler returned and said that in his sleep he had seen a young man wearing a cloak and 'coming to me, as it seemed, from your holiness: he seized me by the hair of my head and drew me to himself and immediately all the pain was drawn off from my joints and bones and from all my limbs and through my hair there came forth, as it were, a violent wind'. The man was cured and Theodore explained to him that the young man whom he had seen in his sleep was Christ's glorious martyr, George.


Mannas, one of the leading guardsmen of the Court, suffered from a terrible, secret, internal malady caused by the working of the Devil. He came several times to the Saint, but was ashamed to tell him of his illness. So on one of his visits the Saint took him aside privately and brought him to his cell and with a smile he said: 'Many times, my son, you have come to me in order to pluck up courage and tell me some secret and you have checked yourself. Why do you do this, my son? Can't you just once pluck up courage and tell me secretly what the matter is?' Mannas then told him everything, begged for healing and implored the Saint to come and bless all those of his household. The Saint fixed a day for the visit and dismissed him. Theodore paid his visit, and that night the silentiary, as usual, was sorely troubled and the Saint prayed that he might be delivered from his malady. And on that same night after the psalms for the day had been sung, one of his disciples named Julianus saw in a dream the Saint standing by the sea shore and there came to him the silentiary carrying in his arms a great three­-headed wild goose which was screeching loudly, and he brought it to the Saint. Theodore grasped it and it became a kitten and was thrown by him into the depths of the sea. The next day after the morning service they were sitting at breakfast when the Saint said to the silentiary: 'Courage! my son: give glory to God, for I believe that in His goodness He has driven away from you your malady: from today it will trouble you no more.' Then the disciple remembered and recounted his dream. The guardsman was cured, and the Saint blessed him, his wife, who was a fervent Christian, and all his household and then returned to his cell.


The guardsman's wife, Theodora, besought the Saint on behalf of herself and her husband to tell her which of them would die first. It was with great difficulty that the Saint was persuaded to do as she wished; he prayed to God and received a revelation that her husband 'would be short-lived in comparison with her'. Day after day with many tears she besought Theodore to pray to God that He would quickly transport her from this present life. At last the Saint was persuaded and prayed to his master Christ, Who has a ready ear, to grant her desire. And assured by a divine revelation, he said to her: 'God has granted your request; now look to yourself, for it will not be many days before you die.' With great joy she set her affairs in order, and after forty days she departed from human life.


Eutychius, the doorkeeper of Theodore, who was known as Monosandalus, while he was asleep by the roadside was smitten by a demon in his hand and all up his arm: his hand was swollen and in a sling. And as his custom was, he came to the Saint to be blessed; Theodore asked him what was the matter with his hand, and Eutychius replied that when he awoke from sleep he had found his hand quite numb and after that it had swelled up. The Saint took off the bandage and as he felt the hand he prayed. The demon whose work the swelling was began to run about in the man's arm, so the Saint made the sign of the Cross on the man's shoulder lest the demon should run up and kill him. The doorkeeper's hand now began to be moved from side to side by the demon; despite his embarrassment he could not keep his hand still. But when the Saint seized it and rebuked the unclean spirit, the movement stopped at once. Eutychius took home with him oil that the Saint had blessed and, after anointing himself, in three days he was healed.


A mistress brought her slave to the Saint: the demon who had taken possession of the slave immediately grew violent and refused to leave him. The Saint rebuked him and walked round a limited space confining the demon within it and condemning him to merciless punishments: 'Blessed be the Lord', he said, 'the body of which you have taken possession shall not leave this house until you have gone out of it.' He left the demon and went into his cell to recite the psalms for the day. For many hours the demon within the sufferer was tortured and then squatting down, because he had to remain in the circumscribed space, he began to cry out in a piteous voice: 'Servant of God, I am coming out, for I cannot bear this punishment. Come and release me and I will come out. Don't torture me more.' But the Saint came from his cell: 'Foul spirit,' he said, 'It is not my wish that you come out now.' But the demon shouted: 'Woe is me in my misery! It was an evil day when I met with you. I beg you, loose me from this circumscribed space. I have been punished enough. When do you want me to come out?' The Saint said to him: 'I want you to come out at midnight. You are freed from the circumscribed place: now restore the mind of the possessed.' Then the demon yielded. That night, when the Saint was awakened in order to celebrate the midnight service, the slave leapt up driven by the demon and began to suffer, while the demon within him shouted out: 'The hour has come, come forth, iron­-eater, and bid me go out.' An hour later the servant of God rebuked the demon in the name of Christ and ordered him to come out. And the demon hurled the slave down at the Saint's feet and came out, and the slave was cured.

A slave­ woman who had had a secret demon for thirteen years came to Theodore: he looked upon her with a severe expression and said the prayer used in the case of the demon-possessed and she was cured.


Three men possessed by demons came to the Saint. At that moment the Patriarch Kyriakus sent for Theodore, as he was accustomed to do. To two of the sufferers he gave relief at once, but the third he left to suffer terribly, for he was possessed by a demon who refused to yield. Theodore said to the demon: 'Since our most holy Patriarch has sent for me and I am not free to deal with you at the moment, stand in the same place while you are being tortured and don't move from it until I come back.' The Saint then went to the Patriarch and was: with him for some hours. Sergius, deacon of the cathedral and attendant on the Patriarch, had a daughter who had been married for three years but was still childless. So Sergius placed his daughter and her husband by the winding stairway of the crypt - the so­ called 'Side­-Door' - and he besought the Saint's attendant, the sub­deacon John, who was in the office of Thomas, the treasurer, to bring Theodore down that way when he was leaving the Patriarch. This was done, and Sergius brought husband and wife within the gates and all three knelt at his feet and begged him to give them a child. But he said to them: 'Do not come to me, children, but to God and He will grant your request.' But since they still remained beseeching him, he took the girdles of both of them and put one on one side of him and the other on the other and kneeling between them he made his prayer and gave them the girdles to wear. And by the grace of Christ a boy was born to them nine months later. And the Saint having left by the so-­called 'Side­-Door', reached his lodging in the quarter of Euarane. John the sub­deacon came with him to see if the demon had kept within the limit laid down for him. They found that he had not only kept the limit but was hanging above the ground. The demon swore by the Most­-High that he would go out-only let the Saint spare him. But the Saint lashed him on the chest saying: 'Many a time have you agreed to this and have played me false. I will not give way to you.'  But the demon with many oaths promised to go out that same night when the wood was struck for service in the cathedral. And having received alleviation of his punishment, at the hour agreed upon the demon left the man and in the same way the other two sufferers having waited for three days with the Saint were cured at the hour of the midnight service.


A slave ­girl named Theodora belonging to Theodore, deacon of the Church of the Virgin named after Orbikius and Notarius the treasurer, is made dumb by a demon and is cured by Theodore.


A girl eight years old, who had taken the monastic habit in the convent attached to the Cathedral, had remained dumb for three years. Her teacher brought her to the Saint imploring his help with tears. After prayers he told the teacher that she was to bring the child to him every morning and every evening so that he might pray over her. This was done, and one day he told the girl to open her mouth; he took hold of her tongue and over it he made the sign of the Cross and blew upon it three times, and bade her take a good drink. And immediately by the grace of God she spoke out loud exclaiming, 'I have drunk, master !' The crowd for a long time continued to shout the 'Kyrie eleeson' (Lord, have mercy!) and the girl went back with her teacher completely cured.


A woman who had suffered for ten years from an issue of blood came for the Saint's blessing, bringing an alabaster box with myrrh in it. Round Theodore she saw a great press of people and secretly mixed with the throng hoping to pour the myrrh on his feet. Knowing this, the Saint gathered his feet up underneath him and called out to her: 'Cease, woman; what do you intend to do? This is a grievous thing which you have planned to do to me', and in fear the woman gave him the myrrh and besought him to pray for her.  And he prayed and said to her, 'The Lord Jesus Christ, Who knoweth secrets, will give effect to the mediation of the holy martyr George according to your faith and He will fulfill your request'.  And immediately through God's grace the flow of blood was stayed and, declaring to all the miracle, she glorified God.


It happened that one of the children of the Emperor Maurice fell ill of an incurable disease for many sores had broken out on the child's body, so that it seemed to be a case of elephantiasis, a disease which some call 'Paulakis', and others 'Kleopatra', and, although the physicians had tried many remedies, nothing had done the child any good.

So the Emperor sent for the holy man and had him fetched from the city to the palace at Hiereia (for thither the Emperor had made a progress and there the child was Lying); the servant of God said a prayer over the child and blessed some water; he bathed the child with it and left the rest for a further treatment; and through his holy prayer the child was cured of the disease and was restored to health. And at the invitation of the Emperor and the Augusta he dined with them and then he took his leave of them after giving them his blessing, and went his way, journeying to his own country, and this reached his monastery.


A certain householder in the village of Alectoria had a savage ox that would not submit to the yoke, so he led it to the monastery, fell at the Saint's feet and begged him to make the sign of the Cross over it so that by his prayers the savageness should be driven out of it. The Saint went out to the ox, who was tossing its head wildly from one side to the other, and snorting, and took hold of its horns and prayed that the savageness might be expelled from it and that it might become docile; then he made the sign of the Cross upon it and said, 'I bid you in the name of Christ, cease your raging and submit to the yoke quietly, for God appointed you to that, and be obedient to your master'.  As the Saint spoke, the beast ceased to rage, and the man led it back from the monastery to the village where his wagon was, and yoked it to it and it submitted to the yoke with great docility and the man was rejoiced thereat.


(Summary) Similarly a woman's wild mule is rendered docile to drive or ride. Theodore did the same thing in the case of horses and various animals.


The blessed man greatly longed to find some relics of the glorious and victorious martyr George, and prayed to the latter to satisfy this longing. Now Aemilianus, the very holy bishop of Germia, had a piece of the martyr's head and one finger of a hand and one of his teeth and another small piece. So the martyr appeared to the bishop and exhorted him to give these relics to his servant Theodore for the church that the latter had built in his honor. The bishop sent to the monastery to the servant of God and invited him to come and offer up prayers in the venerable church of the Archangel in order that he might welcome him and give him the much­ desired relics of the martyr. Theodore was filled with joy by this promise and left the monastery and went to the town of Germia and offered up prayer in the church of the Archangel. The very holy bishop, Aemilianus, welcomed him warmly, and then conducted him to the monastery of the Mother of God, called of Aligete.


At that time there was a great drought in the metropolis of Pessinus and the fruits of the trees and crops were withering. Consequently when the men of that metropolis heard that the servant of God, Theodore, was the guest of the Bishop Aemilianus in the monastery of Aligete, they hastened to him. Their headmen (domestikoi) and the clergy and a goodly number of the people came to this monastery of the Mother of God - a distance of some fifteen miles - and after receiving permission from the Bishop Aemilianus they took the servant of Christ and led him to their own city in order that they, too, might entertain him and that by his prayers their country might obtain rain from heaven. Now there was a garden about six miles from their city, and in this garden was a swarm of locusts which were ruining all the young vegetables. When the owner of the garden heard of the inspired man's approach he ran a distance of three miles from his garden to meet him, and falling at his feet, told him of the damage which the locusts had done to his garden. Theodore said to him, 'Go, son, and bring me some water in a pot'. So the man ran and fetched some water from the river close at hand and brought it to him. After the servant of God had blessed the water, he gave it to him, saying, Go back and water the four corners of your garden with this and the Lord will fulfil thy desire'. The man returned to his garden with all speed, and did this; and when he returned to the spot which he had watered first, he did not find a single locust. He went out again in the evening and found in the same way that all the locusts had vanished, so he filled his hands with all kinds of vegetables and went out in great haste to find Theodore whom he recognized as in very truth a worker of miracles.

Now the procession from the city had met Theodore some three miles beyond the city walls. Whilst he was entering the city with the procession, the owner of the garden came up and fell at his feet and offered him the vegetables he was carrying proclaiming the wonder worked for him. When the Saint had entered the city the most blessed metropolitan George went to greet him and received him with joy; and Theodore, the servant of Christ, bade him announce a religious procession for the morrow. When the morning came the whole town was gathered together in the principal Orthodox church of the Holy Wisdom. After offering up prayer the blessed Theodore and the metropolitan George with all the people marched in procession, singing a litany, to the venerable church of the Holy Hosts of Angels outside the walls. And there they read the Gospel and returned again in procession, singing a litany, to the church of the Holy Wisdom. The saintly man at the desire of the metropolitan celebrated Communion, at the same time beseeching the merciful God to send down rain upon their country. After all had partaken and had sat down to a feast, the sky became overcast and that same day rain fell so heavily over the whole of their land that for two or three days there were streams of water and the land to the west of the town was impassable owing to the flooding of the river; and they all rejoiced and glorified God Who shewed kindness to His creatures at the request of His servants. And so, escorted by the metropolitan and the citizens, the holy and blessed Theodore left the city and went back to the Bishop Aemilianus; from him he received the relics of the holy martyr George, which had endured much suffering, and after embracing him and taking his leave he quickly reached his holy monastery with great joy.


In those days Stephen, the Bishop of Cadossia (which is under the jurisdiction of Nicomedia) came in a litter; for he suffered from gout in his hands and was paralysed in all his limbs and could not even convey his food to his mouth with his own hands, but his attendants had to supply his every need. He was carried thus into the church of the Archangel and fell at the blessed Theodore's feet crying and saying, 'Have pity upon me, servant of the most high God and amongst all the others grant that I, too, may have my share in your miracles; for I know that God will give you whatsoever you ask'.  When the servant of Christ heard that he was a bishop, he was grieved at his act of obeisance and implored him to rise; then standing in prayer he besought God to dispel the bishop's diseases. After the prayer he ordered him to be laid on the right hand side of the church of the holy martyr George, that is, in the adjoining oratory of the holy martyr Plato (where Theodore's own cage stood), and he said to the bishop, 'Be of good courage, my lord, for I trust to the goodness of God to release you from this sickness shortly'. He also blessed and gave to him some oil for anointing himself and in two weeks the bishop was restored to health and after he had received the blessing of Theodore he left the monastery 'walking and leaping and praising God'. [Acts 3:8]


(Summary) A cleric, Solomon, and his wife, of Heliopolis, both troubled by evil spirits, were healed after a short stay, and in gratitude for their cure the man presented a picture for the oratory of the church of the Archangel where he used to sleep. Another man from the village of Salmania, afflicted by a violent and uncontrollable demon, came to the Saint who had him put in the stocks. By the Saint's daily prayer over him the demon was burnt out and disappeared, and in a fortnight the man was completely cured and returned home.


It was about this period that a severe famine prevailed at one and the same time throughout the whole country; the brothers in the monasteries, together with the guests entertained there, came to the end of all their provisions. This happened in Lent when the blessed man was keeping his retreat in the monastery of the Mother of God. Two days therefore before Palm Sunday, Dionysius the cellarer went to him and told him: 'We have no supply of wheat', said he, 'either for our own use or for the reception of the crowd.' For on Palm Sunday Theodore was wont to come out of his cell and a great crowd gathered during those two days. The blessed Theodore said to him: 'Go to the store­room and sponge out the wheat­-bins; put what you find on a clean dish and bring it here.'  When it was brought, he bent his head and besought God the Provider, Who readily hears men's prayers, to grant him a supply of food for the monasteries; and after the prayer he said to the brother, 'Go in and place this wheat together with the dish under the altar of the all­-holy Mother of God, and the Lord will send us food'. This was done and on the morrow some true lovers of Christ from a great distance came and brought him thirty large measures of wheat.

One day it happened that half the dough failed to ferment sufficiently, either because the flour could not be ground properly, or because the amount of wheat was insufficient; so the man honored by God came to the kneading-troughs and blessed the dough that was fermenting in them, and through his holy prayer the troughs were filled with the leavened dough and it even overflowed from them.... (The chapter ends with the statement that influenced by Theodore's miracles of mercy many retired from the turmoil of life and entered both his and other monasteries.)


(Summary) Saint Theodore had much bodily suffering. From this we should learn not to be discouraged if we have to endure great pain or illness; it is God's way of profiting our souls; thus we should not pray for deliverance from weaknesses of the body. Like Saint Paul, Theodore had 'a thorn in the flesh' [2 Cor 12:7]-a wound which, as no attention was paid to it, grew worse, and, since it was rubbed by his rough hair­-tunic, bled profusely. This wound Theodore said was God's benediction; it would until his last prayer be with him, and for it he continued to give thanks.


In addition to this he was afflicted every year by a painful affection of the eyes which lasted about a month and a half in the summer season; for this suffering, too, he was thankful beyond measure, but it made him unfit for receiving crowds. On account of this affection he was inspired by God to travel to the church of Our Lady, the Mother of God, which is in Sozopolis. For he had had the desire for a long time to have sight of the divine bounty manifested there; and it certainly was fitting that witness should be borne to him by the divine power displayed there, and that he should save some folk from dangers on his journey.

As he was approaching the bridge called Tautaendia, Pherentinus, the innkeeper there, heard that he would be passing, so he sent a messenger to meet him imploring him to enter the inn and leave with him his blessing, as he had been Lying half­-dead for a long time and his face was twisted right round to the back.

So the holy Theodore went in to him and asked how this thing had happened. The innkeeper replied, 'I was standing outside my inn, sir, when a black dog came up and stood in front of me and yawned, which made me quite against my will yawn in the same way, and forthwith the dog disappeared from my sight ! Directly afterwards I was seized with fever, I took to my bed and my face was turned round backwards. Oh servant of God, help me if you are able to! For at the time when my beasts were all dying, after you had said a prayer over them I did not lose a single one'.  When he had finished speaking, the blessed man prayed over him and blew three times into his mouth, and after blessing some water he gave it to him saying, 'Drink some of this and rub yourself with it; for the thing you saw which cast a spell upon you was a demon; but in the name of Christ I hope we shall find you well when we return from our pilgrimage.' And he left the inn and continued his Journey.


(Summary) As Theodore approached Amorion a child with crooked feet who could not walk was brought to him and healed. In Amorion the son of the 'illustris' John, a youth eighteen years old, who had been paralysed for three years, was carried into Theodore's presence. He had been hare-hunting with his father and at the second cast his spear had stuck into him and the paralysis had followed. Theodore directed that the youth should be taken outside the city walls to the house of the 'illustris' Anastasius and laid in the oratory there, dedicated to the Virgin, where Theodore intended to lodge.

A procession met Theodore and prayers were said through the streets of the city until the cathedral was reached. Here the bishop, who through illness could not take part in the procession, asked Theodore to celebrate the Communion. On his return to the house of Anastasius, Theodore took oil and anointed the face, hands, feet and all the paralysed limbs of the youth; he then bade him stand up; 'Know', he said, 'that you are well, that your father may not be pained on your account.' The youth nodded his head and the Saint gave him his hand and raised him up and he was cured.


And leaving Amorion he came to Sozopolis; and as he was on the point of entering the church of the Mother of God, behold! there lay a man stricken of palsy by a demon, for the unclean spirit had lain concealed in him for several years and had not shown itself, for the ever­-Virgin Mother of God was reserving this great miracle for her servant. At that minute the paralytic suddenly leapt up and began to be tormented and met Theodore with these cries, 'Oh violence, why have you come here, iron-­eater, with George the Cappadocian to my open shame? I have lain hidden so many years, and now through you I am found out!' and all who saw it were filled with amazement. But the blessed man rebuked the unclean spirit by prayer and by the sign of the Cross and cured him who had been paralysed.

Then he entered the venerable church of the all-­holy Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, where the God­-given myrrh flows, and stretched out his arms, and standing thus in the shape of a cross, he prayed and steadfastly gazed at the miraculous 'Icon of the myrrh' opposite him. By divine working, the myrrh gathered into a bubble and then rained down plentifully upon his eyes and anointed his whole face so that all who witnessed this divine testimony said, 'Verily he is a worthy servant of God'.


(Summary) On his way home after a stay of forty days in Sozopolis, where he lodged in the house of the bishop Zoilos, he passed through Amorion and stayed in the house of John whose paralysed son he had cured; he went to Germia to visit the bishop, Aemilianus, and on leaving him passed the inn by the bridge Tautaendia over the river Sagaris where the grateful innkeeper Pherentinus gave him a horse out of his stud as thank­-offering for his complete recovery.


(Summary) Two ladies of senatorial rank belonging to the aristocracy of Ephesus came to Theodore's monastery; they were carried in litters with a large train of servants. They brought their children to the Saint to be healed; the one had a son Andreas, a young man of twenty who was dumb, and the other had a little girl of eight, who was paralysed. Theodore ordered them to stay a few days. One morning about the third hour he went out after the psalm-­singing to bless and dismiss the crowd, as his custom was, and found the little girl lying in the church, so he went to her and signed her with the Cross and prayed over her. After dismissing the crowd he called to the little girl to come to him, and she arose and came. He also made the sign of the Cross over the young man and told his mother that he would begin to speak on their journey home. Some time later an acquaintance of the ladies came to the monastery from Ephesus and reported that the young man had spoken.


(Summary) Theodore cures the nephew of Florentius, the chief elder of the village of Sandos. He suffered from an incurable malady-the so­-called 'phugadaina' - which had attacked the corner of his mouth and begun to eat away his flesh.

Florentius takes his nephew with him on horseback to the Saint. Theodore rubbed with his hand the part afflicted, blew three times into his mouth and gave him water which he had blessed, and he was then restored to health.


Every year on the Saturday after the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ a public procession regularly came to the monastery from all the neighboring villages. Once when at this festival great crowds had poured in from the countryside a cauldron of hot water happened to be standing at the foot of the slope in a ditch at the side of the road and it had a fire under it. After the service was over and the crowds had finished their meal and were getting ready to leave the monastery, a boy came out of the church of St. George and ran to put his belongings into safe­keeping. As his path lay close to the cauldron, through the Devil's operation he fell, as he ran, into the boiling cauldron.

His parents who were behind him ran and seized him by the feet and pulled him out and carried him to the church of St. George where the Saint was still blessing the people; they threw the child down at his feet half­-dead and broke out into lamentations over the accident which threatened their boy's life. The servant of the Lord laid the child near the sacred altar and bending his head, began to pray for him. After anointing the child with oil from the 'sleepless' lamp he raised him up by the grace of God and after leading him three times round the altar he gave him back to his parents with his flesh whole and the skin uninjured.


Now Anicetus, the abbot of the monastery of the holy martyr Theodore of Briania, came with the folk in the procession. When he had heard of the boy's accident and seen him well with his skin unhurt, he thought that the water in the cauldron was in fact cold; as he wished to test the miracle, forthwith as he passed by with the procession he put his hand into the cauldron to see whether it would be burned or not; he was burnt immediately and badly hurt. The Saint had joined the procession below the monastery and was dismissing the crowds when the abbot Anicetus came to him and shewed him his hand and asked him to sign it with the Cross, saying that it had been burnt by the man in charge of the cauldron. But the Saint smiled and said, 'Oh no, brother! you thrust it into the cauldron yourself; nevertheless, we may pray that the Lord may heal it', and after Theodore had made the sign of the Cross upon it, the abbot was relieved of the burning and felt no pain and went home marvelling at the things he had seen and heard.


In the village of Sandos in the district of Protomeria a certain householder, Eutolmius by name, wanted to enlarge his threshing­-floor because of the rich abundance of crops that had been given him and because the floor could not take a double yoke of oxen; close to it was a hillock in which there were many demons. Now as he dug and was levelling the ground in a circle round his floor he happened to dig into the neighboring hillock and remove a stone out of it. And unclean spirits came forth and entered into the animals in the village and made them savage, and later began to work their mischief also upon the villagers.

After some of them, both men and women, had been tormented the spirits which were in them cried out that these disasters were happening to them because of the digging into the hillock. When the villagers saw the distress of their own people and thought that Eutolmius had dug in order to get money out of the hill, when they heard also that the governor of the province, Euphrantas, was preparing to take action against them in the matter for having brought the charge against Eutolmius, they grew mad against the householder and rushed to burn down him and his household as being responsible for their ill-­fortune. But as this attempt was foiled by those who held the highest positions in the village and wished to restore peace, they sent to the monastery begging the Saint and servant of Christ, Theodore, to come to the village and free them from the evils which had befallen them. The Saint came back with them and standing on the place which had been dug, he said to them, 'Believe me, children, nothing has happened in this spot according to your suspicions; but in order that you may be more fully satisfied, make the hole much deeper'. When this was done, they found nothing whatever suspicious. So as they were fully satisfied, on the morrow he made arrangements for a procession and in company with them he led the procession with prayer round the village - and the persons who were being tormented followed him, too - and came to the hillock which had been dug open; as he bent his head and prayed, all the spirits which had come out of it and worked mischief among the beasts and in various places were quickly collected to that spot. The Saint then turned to the afflicted and rebuked the unclean spirits that were in them, and by invocation to his master, Christ, he cast them out, and by the power of his prayer to God and by the visitation of the Holy Spirit he shut them all up there. After putting back the stone which had been thrown out and filling up the trench with earth, he placed above it a model of the Holy Cross and stayed there sleepless the whole night, singing and praying to God.


The next day he had read the liturgy and was on the point of going back to his monastery, when the chief men of the village of Permetaia came there and fell at his feet beseeching him with tears to come to their village, too, because there through a slab of stone having been removed from a certain spot many demons came out and afflicted six men and eight women of the village. So the Saint and servant of Christ, Theodore, came out and went away with them together with the chief men of the village of Sandos. As they drew near the village of Aiantoi, by the working of those unclean demons because of whom he was travelling, the animal on which he was sitting fell in a heap and slipping down, he fell on the hinder parts of the beast; when it tried to get up the two boards which had formed the seat came backwards and landed under the Saint's stomach and crushed him, and owing to the great pressure they cut through his hair-­garments and were driven a good way into his flesh. Much blood flowed out, so he took a linen rag, applied it to the wound in his body and mounting his beast again, journeyed on with his companions and said with a smile, 'Truly, children, God's help protects me; for the unclean demons attacked me to injure me'. On arrival at the village his companions thought he would fall into some illness through the horrible wound he had received, but, mightily strengthened by the grace of the Holy Spirit, he stood like an iron statue through that night and without sleeping continued in praise to God.

On the morrow after praying he led a procession with prayer round the village and after ordering the slab to be replaced to its former position he went himself to the spot with the procession and after praying for a brief space of time and calling upon the name of the holy, consubstantial and life-giving Trinity, he cast out the spirits that were in people, and as they came out he drove them together and confined them in that place and for the future they did no harm to anybody. For in these cases he had also working with him the holy great martyr George, who had followed him closely from his earliest years. After marking the spot with the sign of the Holy Cross, together with those who had come with him from the village of Sandos, he departed and regained his monastery. He also sent a letter to Euphrantas, the governor, and stopped him from proceeding against them by satisfying him that the digging in the hillock was not done for the sake of treasure but at the instigation of Satan. And thus he dismissed to their homes the householders of the village of Sandos who had come with him,

And at another time, when the vines of the same village of Sandos were devoured by a plague of locusts, and the vines of the men of the village of Permetaia were being eaten up by worms, through Theodore's presence and prayers in both these places all the pests were smitten dead at once, Lying about in heaps to the glory of Christ our God, Who gave Theodore such grace.


Again, in the village of Eukraae in Lagantine there was a farmer, Timotheus by name, who happened to dig into the side of a hill, which bordered his land, whether in order to improve the adjoining property which belonged to him or in order to carry off some treasure I cannot say. For the report spread abroad that he had done it in search of money. Thereupon the great army of unclean spirits who dwelt in it came out and attached themselves to the persons of that village and most of the men with their wives and children were grievously tormented; and the spirits caused such disorders and such breakages that Euphrantas, the then governor of the metropolis of Ancyra, hearing of this, decided to send and arrest the aforesaid farmer, Timotheus, and subject him to a heavy fine for having broken open a grave. And through the working of the spirits in the possessed the governor seized some of the sufferers on account of the disorders caused by them, and inflicted many strokes with an oxhide whip on their naked bodies, thinking by these means to reduce them to quietness. But the men who were beaten, instead of weeping and asking for greater leniency, were on the contrary seized with uncontrollable laughter, begging that more strokes should be inflicted on them, and when released they went off madly to commit still more villainies and disorders. For first of all they went in a body and burnt down the granaries belonging to Timotheus, the cause of their being possessed by the demons, and him they tried to catch and kill, but he had fled. Then in the same way they went round and burnt down the other granaries in the village, and roaming round they would enter all their own houses and eat up all they could find and they spoiled and smashed up all the furniture and wrought much havoc in their own homes, and if any spoke to them wishing to stop them they rained blows upon them. Such things as these were done not only in the case of men through their being possessed by the demons, but they further killed some of the animals, others they made savage, and they became unmanageable and smashed things up and the spirits hovered about the confines of their land and raised apparitions causing great harm to the passers­by, and so there was an accumulation of distress in that village and its borders. A few of the householders of the village, however, were free from the demons, and they with their clergy came to the monastery to the Saint and fell down and clasped his feet beseeching him with many strong oaths to take pity on their populous village which was in the throes of great misery. So the Saint yielded and went with them; all the people of the village met him, both the healthy and the possessed, while the unclean spirits roundly cursed him. On reaching their church of the holy Archangel, he remained the whole night in hymns and prayers begging the merciful God to drive away the army of demons both from man and beast and all the neighborhood and to drive them all back again to the place from which they came out and to shut them all up there. At dawn all the inhabitants of the village came to him in a body; the spirits in those who were possessed called out that they were suffering violence at his hands, since he had come out against them and was making intercession to God. But the God-­inspired man, strong in the divine grace bestowed upon him, rebuked them as if they were cheap little boys destined to slavery, and commanded them to go away to the hill from which they had come and to enter it again and stay there, harming no one.


Owing to illness he deputes one of his elders, named Julianus, to go to the hill in his place and take the service and re-imprison the demons. After some demur Julianus obeys and is successful.


Another time a similar thing happened in the same village. For a marble sarcophagus stood at a certain spot on their boundary and it contained the skeletons of some Greeks (i.e. pagans) of ancient times which were guarded by demons; by the latters' suggestion the following idea occurred to some of the householders of the village; they came and opened the said chest and took off the covering, or lid, and carried it to their village and placed it there to serve as a water ­trough. Because of this many of the inhabitants of the village were again vexed by demons, and their beasts and properties were likewise injured.

So again they went and fetched the servant of God and by his prayers to God he healed all those who had been bewitched by the unclean spirits and freed the beasts and the district from the harm wrought by them and bound them down in the place where they had been before. Nor did he allow the lid of the sarcophagus to be given back to the spirits as they desired, asking that it should be restored to its former position but he left it in the village as it was useful for the water supply, and it is there to this day as witness of his marvellous works.

In the villages nearest to Eukraae, called Buna, Peae and Hynia, a huge swarm of beetles appeared in the cornfields and ate up their summer crops; so the men of these three villages implored the Saint to come. He went with them to their plain, and as soon as he had offered a prayer, the whole swarm of beetles vanished and was never seen again.


Many similar wondrous works were done by him in various places to the glory of our Saviour, Christ our God, Who gave him these signs of His grace. One day before the murder of the Emperor Maurice [602 CE] when the Saint was in the monastery of the Mother of God and was reciting the proper psalms for the day in the newly-built sanctuary, the 'sleepless' lamp went out. He made a sign to one of the brothers and had it lighted, and at once it went out; again the brother came and with many a prayer re­lighted it, but it went out immediately.

The blessed Saint found fault with him for his clumsiness, and went and himself lighted the lamp. Directly he had moved away, it went out again, as before. Then he gathered together the brothers who were there and spoke to them very solemnly as follows: 'I assure you, brothers, this sign has not; been given us without cause or to no purpose. Therefore examine yourselves and consider what you have done, and confess your sin before God; for even if you wish to hide it, the Lord wills to make it known.'  And when in response to this appeal the brothers declared that they were not conscious of any sin, he stood in prayer beseeching God to reveal to him the meaning of this sign. And God granted him a revelation, and he became very cast down and groaned and said, 'Very truly didst thou picture the nature of man, blessed Isaiah, for "Every man", it is written, "is grass and all the glory of man is as the flower of grass; the grass has withered and its flower has fallen.'' [Is 40:7] When he had said these words the brothers came and asked him to tell them what had been revealed to him. After enjoining them not to speak of it to anyone, he announced to them the manner of death by which the Emperor Maurice should die. They said, 'He deserves his fate for he has in many things governed ill, especially in the things which he is doing now'. The Saint replied, 'This man, children, will { shortly be removed, and after him worse things shall happen, such as this generation does not expect'.


After a few days the Emperor Maurice was assassinated and Phocas usurped the throne. Domnitziolus, his nephew, was made a patrician and 'curopalates' and dispatched to the East by the Emperor to take over the army and make a stand against the Persian nation, which was invading and lording it over our country.* When this famous man arrived at Heliopolis, and heard of the raid of the Lazi* into Cappadocia and of the conspiracy of the patrician Sergius, the Emperor's father­-in-­law, against him, he was in great distress and fear as he did not dare to proceed with his journey as he had been bidden. He had heard about the servant of God, so he came to him in the monastery and falling at his feet besought his prayers and begged him to give him good advice, as he was at a loss and did not know what he ought to do. He told him of the orders given to him by the Emperor and of the difficulty created by the invasion of the Lazi; the servant of God said to him, 'Go straight along thy way, son, in the name of God; you need have no fear of them, they will not hinder you, but you will reach your army in safety. However, in your war with the Persians things must take their appointed course*; you are going to experience great trials and conflicts, but I commend you to God and to his holy martyr George to keep you free from harm. When these dangers beset you, you will remember my prayer and God will rescue you from your great peril.' When he had told him of these and other things which were to come, he prayed over him and dismissed him on his journey. And according to Theodore's prophecy he accomplished his journey without hindrance through the grace of God, as the Lazi had retreated; and he found that all things happened exactly as the Saint had foretold.

In the war against the Persians he fell into an ambush; great slaughter was wrought on his army, and he himself was in sore straits. Then he remembered what had been foretold to him by the inspired man, and he called upon his prayers .o come to his aid. Fleeing on foot to a bed of reeds, he hid himself there and by God's assistance he escaped from danger and got back into the Roman camp and reassembled his army

On his journey back to the Emperor he visited the blessed man and falling at his feet in deep devotion he rendered thanks to God and acknowledged the help which the Saint's prayers had brought to him-how they had saved him from great perils-and he confessed that all things had happened to him just as Theodore had foretold.

Afterwards, when this distinguished man had been blessed by the Saint and had celebrated a feast-­day, he went on his way to the imperial city. From that time forth he cherished a deep affection and trust for the servant of God, and for the holy monastery, and whenever he passed through the village by the imperial post on his way to the capital from the East, he used to go up on foot to visit the Saint in the monastery and would prostrate himself before him. He gave such bountiful alms to the oratories of the monastery that from them leaden tiles were made for the church of the holy martyr George and many precious things were acquired. He also used to distribute much money to the poor who happened to be there; and owing to his reverence for the Saint he always granted the requests of those who desired audience from him.


(Summary) Relates the cure from severe gastric trouble of S Phocas, an imperial secretary, coming from the capital. The cure is effected on the homeward journey at the bridge over the river Siberis.


(Summary) A blind cleric, a treasurer of one of the towns in the neighbourhood of Sebasteia, crawls to Theodore's feet and begs him to cure him. However, he is bidden to rest two days and then go home again. He obeys reluctantly, spends the night at Arania (five miles from Sykeon), and on washing next morning his sight is restored to him. He wished to return to the Saint but did not venture to do so without his consent. So he sent a messenger to report that he was healed and to ask if he should come. Theodore told him to continue his journey giving glory to God.


(Summary) A sea captain from Kalleoi in Pontus, by name Theodoulus, was afflicted with a demon under his skin, which appeared in the shape of a mouse. When the Saint put his hand on the man's body he felt the demon running about as though trying to escape. He confined it to the captain's arms and after prayer he made the sign of the Cross over the arm, and the demon disappeared and the man was cured.


One day the headman, Antipadus by name, from the village of Aiantoi, the priest Demetrius, dear unto God, of the village of Silindoucomis, and Aetius, the headman from the village of Alectoria, honorable men, came to the Saint when he was in the nunnery of Saint Christopher; at dinner time he invited them to dine with him. Now it happened that the stewing-­pot had been left uncovered and, by the machinations of the wicked one, a green lizard fell into the vegetables that were being boiled and got boiled with them; when the servant placed the dish on the table, he kept back some of the vegetables in which the creeping thing still remained. When the Saint had given thanks, they ate the vegetables placed before them, and then he told the servant to set what remained before them, so he emptied out the rest and served it to them. As they ate, the green lizard was discovered, and on recognizing it they cried out saying, 'Oh holy father, we are dead men, we are dead men! What shall we do? For this creature is the venomous green lizard'. While they were lamenting and commiserating themselves - since they would never, they exclaimed, see their children and wives again - the servant of God said to them, 'Do not fear, children, for if you trust God and believe me, the humble Theodore, you will take no harm at all; for the God invoked by Elisha the prophet when the gourd fell into the pot [2 Kings 4:38-41] is still the same true God Who said, "If you drink any deadly thing it shall in no wise hurt you." [Mark 16:18] After preparing a draught and blessing the cup, he gave it to them to drink and not one of them suffered any ill. On the morrow he dismissed them while they glorified God.


Again, a man called George, Cappadocian, was passing along the public road, bound with chains about his neck, hands and feet, and in the custody of a strong contingent of the imperial guard and soldiers. He was charged, they said, with making insurrection against the Emperor Phocas. This man eagerly desired to go up to the Saint and be deemed worthy of his prayers, and as his guard had the same wish, they ascended to the monastery with him, and after praying in the oratories of the saints, they also went to the cell in which the Saint was. After doing reverence to him they received his blessing. The guards besought him to advise the captive to behave himself reasonably on the journey and not to harbor any evil designs against himself or against one of them, so that they themselves might not run the risk of punishment at the Emperor's hands. And this the Saint did, admonishing the prisoner from the Holy Scriptures, saying, 'Things here are temporal, son, but things there are eternal; and it is good that one who has suffered violence from another should die like just Abel, and God's blameless priest, Zacharias, and the holy John the Baptist, and Christ's holy apostles and martyrs, rather than meditate injury to himself and become subject to eternal condemnation. For think of this, son; if you undergo death either for the crime of which you are now accused or for any other reason, accept it willingly as thereby taking your punishment in this world and going away guiltless to the next life. But if you are innocent of any crime and are to suffer death unjustly here, you will receive a crown from God like his saints who were violently put to death.' With these and many other words from the sacred Scriptures the man's despair was cured and he then asked to be allowed to partake of the Holy Mysteries. The Saint said to the soldiers who held him, 'Shew honor, my sons, to our Master's Holy Mystery, and loose this man from his chains until he has partaken; for it is not right that a faithful man should be in bonds to receive the Christ Who suffered for us and loosed us from the bonds of Hades'. But they said he must excuse them, as they did not dare to do it because the man was brave, and if perchance he were to commit any folly, they would no longer be able to restrain him. The inspired man then took the holy cup of the Communion to give to him and looking up to heaven groaned, whereupon the captive's fetters were immediately loosened and the chains which bound him fell to the ground with a clatter. The guards were alarmed and ran to the doors and bolted them to prevent his running out and escaping from them, but the Saint said to them, 'Do not be afraid of him at all, for I know the man's mind and he will not commit any folly'. After administering the Holy Mysteries to him he arranged for him to have a meal together with his guards; after that his chains were put on again and they went their way.


On the sixteenth of July, when the festival of the holy martyr and athlete for Christ, Antiochus, was being celebrated in his oratory, the Saint was officiating. When he took the paten according to the custom of the country to raise the holy bread on high, and was beginning to chant the 'Holy things to the Holy', the consecrated bread began to manifest openly in the sight of all present that the offering of the celebrant was acceptable, for it made the motions of one that skipped for joy by rising high above the paten and coming down with a little thump on to the paten. This was heard and seen by all, for the bread ascended and descended regularly so that all we who stood there and saw it were amazed and terrified at this mighty wonder, and the Saint himself, filled with exceeding joy, though weeping from contrition, joined with us in glorifying our God's unsurpassable goodness.


One day the true lover of Christ, Photius (a well­-known patrician who afterwards became exarch of Rome and whose son Gregory the Saint himself received at the holy font) came to him and stayed for the sacred Liturgy. Whilst the God-inspired man was making the oblation in the church of the holy great­ martyr George, Photius observed that the holy bread of oblation was stale wheaten-bread, yet he noticed that much steam seemed to be rising from it and he concluded that the bread must be fresh and for this reason was steaming. At the moment of the administration of the sacrament when he went up to partake of the elements he found that the piece of bread given to him was exceedingly stale and he marvelled. After the dismissal of the congregation he approached the Saint, told him what he had seen and begged him to give him an explanation of it. The Saint replied, 'This sign has been shown to you, son, because you are worthy; for the grace of the saints is being collected and ascends from us into the heavens on account of our unworthiness and our sins in order that on earth our State may have experience of many afflictions and dangers; but let us pray to the God of pity that whatever He ordains, may be done in mercy'. When the distinguished patrician heard these words he wept, and after receiving the Saint's blessing he left the monastery and went his way.

When the folk of the towns and villages round about went in procession singing their litanies the little crosses that they carried in the procession began to jump about and make a rattle; it was a terrible and piteous sight to see. And when men asked the God-­inspired man what it might mean, he said, Pray, my children, since great afflictions and disasters are threatening the world'.


(Summary) Domnitziolus sent to the Saint a gold cross for processions and worship; in its central boss Thomas (who had succeeded Kyriakus as Patriarch of Constantinople) had the following relics inserted - a piece of the Holy Cross and a piece of the stone of Golgotha and a piece of the holy tomb of our Saviour God, and the hem of the Holy Virgin's tippet. Thomas asked the deacon Epiphanius, Theodore's 'apocrisiarius' whom he had sent to Constantinople to fetch the Cross, whether the story about the crosses in the religious processions in Galatia (ch. 127) was true, and on being assured that it was, he was terrified at this strange phenomenon, and wrote to Theodore, bidding him come up forthwith to the capital.


(Summary) The Saint restores to his senses Theodore, an imperial groom, who had come to him from Upper Pylae; his mind had been deranged by the demons inhabiting his house. Theodore promises when on his way to the capital to pass through Pylae to bring salvation to his house.


(Summary) Philoumenus, the abbot of the monastery, dies and the priest, John, though against his will, consents to be appointed his successor. (He wanted to retire to the East but Theodore threatened that if he did not obey he would in future have no part with him.) Theodore starts for the capital and visits Dorylleon on his way thus answering the prayers of the inhabitants and the monks and of his former disciples, Photius and Kerykus, the heads of the monastery of St. George called 'the Monastery of the Fountains'.


Near the monastery of the all­-holy Mother of God at Katharae, Theodore, the imperial groom, met him (the one who had been a supplicant of the Saint's before) and conducted him to the port of Pylae where he worked various miracles. He also took him to his own house in Upper Pylae to free it from the great distress caused by the demons (see ch. 129). For both his servants and his beasts were bewitched by the unclean spirits, and when the members of the household were at breakfast or dinner, stones would be thrown at the tables, causing fear and great dismay; they also broke the women's looms. The whole house, too, was filled with mice and snakes which terrified the inhabitants and in fact made it quite uninhabitable. The servant of God entered into the house and stayed the night there, supplicating God by psalm­-singing and prayers; and after he had blessed some water and sprinkled the whole house with it, he freed the owners from the demons' malignity.


(Summary) Theodore drives out the demon from a fellow­ traveller in the boat when crossing from Pylae to Constantinople; the demon had been secretly active in the man for many years and during the crossing violently abused the Saint. The other passengers, not knowing that the man was possessed, told him to hold his peace and not malign the Saint in this scandalous and drunken fashion. Theodore beat upon the man's chest and making the sign of the Cross compelled the hidden demon to go out. The demon was seen by those in the boat to leave the man's mouth in the form of a mouse.


When Theodore disembarked at the imperial city the most blessed Patriarch, Thomas, received him and they embraced each other with much joy. Theodore also introduced to him his disciple John, whom he wished to be ordained abbot, bearing witness to his virtuous life. The Patriarch immediately agreed thereto, invested him with the pallium and appointed him abbot, escorting him to their own monasteries in the countryside.

The Emperor Phocas heard of the Saint's visit, and requested to see him (for he was confined to his bed with gout in his hands and feet). Theodore came to him and after he had laid his hand upon him and prayed over him, the Emperor was relieved of his disease. But when the Emperor asked him to pray for him and for his rule, the servant of Christ began to admonish him and said that if he wished to be always held in remembrance by him and wanted the Saint's prayers on his behalf to be effective, he must cease his killing of men and shedding of blood. If he were successful in this, 'then my prayers for you,' . said Theodore, 'will be answered by God'. But if the Emperor persisted in his murderous ways, he foretold to him the woes that would come upon him through God's wrath; at these words the Emperor became very incensed against him.


When he had left the palace the most blessed Patriarch, Thomas, would give Theodore no peace, for he held him in great respect and had such full confidence in him that after many entreaties he persuaded him to adopt him as a brother, and Theodore promised to ask of God that in the future life, too, they might not be separated from each other.

Next he asked him whether the tale about the extraordinary jumping of the little crosses during processional litanies was really true; and on learning from the Saint that the story told him about them was true, he began privately to beg him to explain to him what such a sign meant. However, Theodore, pleading his own insignificance and calling himself an abject sinner, asserted that he did not know how to answer the question. Then Thomas fell at his feet and held them and protested that he would not get up from the ground unless he consented to satisfy him on this point, saying, 'I know and am convinced that you understand not only this sign, but many others as well; for you cannot have been content up till now to consider this as of no account and not to seek an explanation of it; if, however, it has been concealed from you till this moment and you have not been anxious to learn about it, yet now if you ask God, He will certainly reveal it to you'. Then the servant of Christ, having consented to satisfy him, made him get up and weeping bitterly said to him, 'I did not wish you to be troubled, for it is not to your profit to learn these, things. But since you insist, the shaking of the crosses portends many painful and dangerous things for us-it means instability in our faith and apostasy, and the inroads of many barbarous peoples, and the shedding of much blood, and destruction and captivity throughout the world, the desolation of the holy churches, the cessation of the divine service of praise, the fall and perturbation of the Empire and perplexity and critical times for the State; and further it foreshadows that the coming of the Adversary is at hand. Therefore do you, as governor of the Church and shepherd of the people, implore God continuously, as far as in you lies, to spare His people and to order these things with pity and with mercy'. At these words the most blessed Patriarch was seized with an agony of fear and began with tears to beg Theodore to pray God to take away his life and not let him be overtaken by any of the disasters he had foretold.

And from that time forth the Patriarch continually lived in retirement in his palace and poured out confessions to Theodore and besought him with tears saying, 'Since you have with your whole heart deigned to accept me as your brother and are thus so closely bound to me and to my welfare. pray to God on my behalf that he may take my spirit and that I may not see the dangers which are to come upon us. My courage fails me and I have not the strength to see these things come - and live.


(Summary) The Patriarch Thomas earnestly prays Theodore to spend his yearly period of seclusion in the capital, as the city will soon need his presence. There was a fear that Constantinople might fall. He agrees thereto and after Christmas he shuts himself up in the diakonikon of the winter church of the monastery of St. Stephen or monastery of the Romans near the Petrion. The Patriarch implores Theodore to pray to a God to grant him a speedy release from the troubles threatening the Empire. After some resistance Theodore complies and God grants the prayer: the death of the Patriarch soon follows.


(Summary) Sergius is appointed patriarch and shows the same respect towards Theodore as Thomas had done: he pleads that he is young for his high office and needs Theodore's prayers Theodore replies that his youth will give him courage to face the perils which threatened the Empire and promises him a long and worthy tenure of the patriarchate. Sergius constantly appeals to Theodore for advice.


(Summary) Many in Constantinople especially those in high places were accustomed to go to the baths after communicating. Theodore condemns the practice. A number of the cathedral clergy come to Theodore and ask him whether this condemnation has support in scripture or is based on a special revelation. Theodore replies that God had revealed to him that those who take a bath after receiving the Eucharist through wantonness and for bodily enjoyment commit a sin, 'For no one who has anointed himself with myrrh and perfumes washes off the pleasant scent thereof and no one who has lunched with the Emperor straightway runs to the baths'.


(Summary) While in the monastery of the Romans Theodore heals many sufferers amongst the crowds which resort to him there. Zoilus, abbot of the monastery, witnesses the cure of a demoniac.


(Summary) The monks together with the abbot Christophorus wish to have a picture of Theodore as a permanent memorial and to secure his blessing. They summon a painter without Theodore's knowledge: he can only see the Saint through a small aperture, but manages to produce a good likeness. Before Theodore left the monastery they asked him to bless the portrait: he smiled at the bearer of the message: 'You are a fine thief', he said, 'what are you doing here? We must see to it that you don't run off with something!' Then he blessed the painting, and dismissed the messenger.


(Summary) Domnitziolus, patrician and curopalates, asks Theodore to visit him in Arcadianae. His wife Eirene has no children: the saint blesses her and promises her three children - and they will be boys. All the male and female slaves of the household are brought to Theodore for his blessing. A slave girl had long been ill, troubled by a hidden demon. He beats on her breast and the demon declares itself. Then the Saint laying her on the ground put his foot on her neck, turned his eyes to the east and uttered a silent prayer. At the end of his prayer he recited aloud the doxology of the Holy Trinity. For some time the slave girl remained speechless and then was completely cured. Later Eirene gave birth to three sons, as the Saint had prophesied. The conception of her first son immediately followed the Saint's prayer. Emperor and Patriarch say farewell to Theodore and he returns to his monastery.


(Summary) In the village of Skoudris near the monastery of the Archangel there is a heavy hail­storm, the neighboring stream is in flood and destroys houses and crops, carrying men, women, children and little babies in their cradles down into the river Sagaris. The householders of the half of the village which had not been ruined appeal to the Saint who comes to the place, prays and sets up a cross, and thereafter even when there were storms of snow and rain the stream was not flooded and no one suffered damage.


About that time the inhuman consul Bonosus was travelling to the eastern parts of the Empire and as he passed near the monastery he heard tell of the inspired man's holiness and felt a reverence for it, violent and cruel though he was. So he sent a messenger in advance to him beseeching him, if he could endure the fatigue, to come down to the oratory of the holy martyr Gemellus near the posting­-station in order that he might do reverence to him there and be deemed worthy of his prayers, saying that he himself was unable to go up to the monastery owing to the pressure of urgent affairs; so the Saint went down and received him and whilst he was praying for him the consul stood but did not bend his neck, so the Saint took hold of the hair of his forehead and pulled it and in this way bent his head down (virtue is wont to act thus with courage and not fear human authority 'For the righteous', it is said, 'is bold as a lion'[ Prov 28:1]) We who were present were thunder­struck and terrified at the just man's daring and imagined that the consul would turn insolent and furious, for we knew well by report that his savagery was like that of a wild beast. But he readily accepted the prayer and the rebuke and showed honor to the Saint by kissing his hands, and then putting his hand on his own chest because of a pain which oppressed him he begged the Saint to pray that he might be freed from it. But the Saint gently tapped with his fingers on the consul's chest and said to him, 'You must first pray that your inward man may be reformed and grow healthy; for when that is healed, the outward man, too, will be restored to health; therefore I will pray for you and do you devote yourself to the good and fear God in order that my prayers may be effective. But if I pray and you neglect to amend your ways, my prayers will be unavailing. Be merciful then and pitiful to all Christian people and do not use harshly the authority entrusted to you, but while examining your own consciousness of sins, sympathize with those that go astray and never shed innocent blood. For if there is to be punishment for the mere insult of a spoken word-for calling another a "fool"- how much more will blood, shed unjustly, be avenged by God?' These counsels the Saint gave him like a man sowing seed in unfruitful ground, and the consul fetched out a few coins and offered them to him in token of gratitude. But as the Saint did not deign to accept them, he drew back his hand and took out some 'trimisia' begging the Saint at least to accept those and to give one to every brother in the monastery. But before looking at them Theodore said, 'There are only fifty and not sufficient for giving one to each, however, they can be changed into smaller money and then distributed equally'. But the consul marvelled at his discerning words, as being God­-inspired and answered, 'Yes, reverend father, by thy holy prayers, there are only fifty as your holy mouth has said; however, I will send as many more at once as are needed to make up the number'. This he did, for after being dismissed by the Saint he went to his baggage and sent what he had promised.

Thus the virtue of the righteous knows how to correct the violent and the savage, and by persuasion makes them yield to those who practise it.


The community of the village of Apoukoumis slaughtered an ox and were eating its flesh. But it happened that all those who partook of it fell down like dead men and the meat that was over turned black and gave forth a horrible stench. Some of the villagers who had not eaten of the meat went to the Saint to report the disaster which had occurred in their village. And he told them that the meat had been rendered so harmful by a troop of demons that had passed through the pot, and as he could not go with them himself because of the visit of a high official, he blessed some water and sent it by one of the brothers for sprinkling the sick and giving it to them to drink. When this was done, they all arose as if from sleep and one only died. For the headman John had not waited for the Saint's prayer to help his brother, but ran to a woman who used enchantments and, taking an amulet from her, hung it on to his brother, who immediately died.


(Summary) A heavy hail storm does great damage in Apoukoumis at the time of the vintage. The Saint played and erected a cross and thereafter storm clouds passed over the village and no such damage occurred again. In gratitude the villagers presented a vineyard to the monastery.


In other villages, too, he worked similar wonders in the case of beetles or locusts or worms or dormice which were devouring the crops or the vines. Wherever anything of the kind occurred the people at once ran to the Saint and either took him back with them or carried away water blessed by his hand for sprinkling over the places which had been damaged, and immediately they gained their desire.

Or again, if a cloud­burst had taken place in any village, or the rivers overflowed their ordinary bed and caused devastation, the sufferers from these calamities went to the holy man in all haste and carried him off to the spot or received a cross at his hands which he had blessed and after fixing it in the spot which had been devastated they never experienced a similar catastrophe again.

And in any case of mortality among oxen or other domesticated animals - I mean mares or any kind of beasts-or birds, or even men, they would in the same way fetch the Saint, or would ask his prayers and carry away with them some water which he had blessed, or the halters and bells of their cattle over which he had pronounced his benediction, and a cure would be sure to follow.

Or when a spell was cast on people by evil spirits, the sufferers were freed from injury if they gained his prayers.

Did husband and wife come to hate each other, they would go to him and he would pray over them and the hatred was dispelled.

If a couple had been childless from youth up to middle age, and he prayed over them and blessed their girdles, then in that same year they would have a child.

In the case of sick persons who were lying in their own homes their relations would bring back oil or water that had been blessed by him and received them back restored to health. Those who were afflicted with wounds or maladies of any kind obtained healing through his prayers.

Again if any required medical treatment for certain illnesses or surgery or a purging draught or hot­springs, this God-inspired man would prescribe the best thing for each for even in technical matters he had become an experienced doctor. He might recommend one to have recourse to surgery and he would always state clearly which doctor they should employ.


In other cases he would persuade those who wished to undergo an operation or take some other medical treatment and would recommend them rather to go to hot­springs, and would name the springs to which they should go.

Or he would prevent those who wished to go to the hotsprings at Dablioi or to take the waters, say, at Apsoda, and would advise them rather to drink a purging draught instead under a doctor whom he would name.

Others again he would not allow to do that but sent them away to drink hot waters or to some other hot­springs. Others who had been wounded or had abscesses and might perhaps wish for an operation he would send to hot springs or b.e would advise them to use plasters of which he himself gave them the name. In a word, as the very best of physicians and as a disciple of the true master­physician, Christ our God, to each one of those who came for treatment he gave exactly the suitable advise that each man's case demanded, and of those who carried out his instructions not one failed to regain his health; and thus in him was fulfilled the thanksgiving sung by David to God, 'Oh, Lord, Thou shalt preserve men and beasts' [Ps. 36:6] However, if perchance one of those who had been advised by him neglected, or made a change in, his orders, either by consulting another doctor, not the one the Saint had named, or by using other plasters, or different treatment, or other hot-springs that person's illness became incurable until he reverted to the treatment the Saint had prescribed and to the hot­-springs he had named and to the doctor chosen by him.


And to those who exposed to him the doubts and the hidden diseases of their heart he gave appropriate and healing counsel; and to those who had transgressed in various ways he ordained a certain period for repentance, and cleansed them by fastings, prayers and acts of charity. Whereas if any concealed from him the wounds of their souls, he would tell them openly some of the things they had done, and advise and warn them to accept discipline. And those who were convicted of much swearing and blasphemy he would regard sternly and adjure them earnestly to abstain from such a habit and to propitiate God for such transgression of the law by many tears and supplications and good works and would cite the testimony of the psalmist: 'If the Lord shall destroy those that only speak falsehoods [Ps 5:6] how much rather shall He visit with His sharp wrath and condemn to perpetual punishment those that add thereto oaths and pile up perjury?' The divine voice testifies 'thou shalt perform to the Lord thine oaths' [Matt 5:33]: and again 'Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment' [Matt 12:36]; and if we shall render account for an idle word, how shall we endure God's threat against our many oaths and evil deeds?

When men were at enmity with each other or had a grievance one against another he reconciled them, and those who were engaged in law­suits he sought to bring to a better mind counselling them not to wrong each other and to think nothing of temporal things but to prefer before all wealth the commandment of God which says: 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself' [Matt 19:19] for love, said he, worketh no ill to its neighbour and whosoever loveth his brother, loveth God. He exhorted all to be hospitable and to give alms for by such works they would gain redemption from their sins and lay up a store beforehand for the future.

The blessed Saint was very sympathetic and pitiful to all; if anyone was oppressed by an official or a tax ­collector or by anybody else he came to the Saint and laid the matter before him. And the blessed man acted according to the Scripture which says 'Deliver the poor and needy; rid them out of the hand of the wicked' [Ps. 82:4]. He further desired to imitate the just dealing of Job, who said, 'I delivered the poor out of the hand of the mighty' [Job 29:12] [here there is a lacuna in the MS.]....


All these things I have set forth by God's help, I His sinful and unworthy servant, Eleusius, who was also called George by the Saint, and I to a greater degree than others had a full share of his kindly deeds. For my parents who were natives of the village of Adigermarae had been married several years yet had had no children, so they came to the Saint who prayed over them and blessed their girdles, and through that prayer I was conceived and born. As a child I was brought to him and reared in his holy monastery and was taught letters so far as was necessary by the abbot beloved of God and through the Saint's prayer my parents received another son, as a substitute for me, whom they named after the Saint. For twelve years I was a disciple of this saint and servant of Christ and during these years I was deemed worthy to be an eye­witness of many of his wondrous works. As for the events which occurred in his earliest years and those of his middle life I have diligently sought them out and learned of them from those who ministered to him during those years and were eye­witnesses, and also from others who had actually been healed by him.

Of their many tales I have selected a few-some I forgot and others I shrank from recounting through my faint­heartedness. But if anyone wished to relate them all, I fancy the writer would not be strong enough for the task, and time, too, would fail him to tell the story.

This holy, thrice­blessed and saintly servant and faithful follower of Christ, Theodore, died in the third year [613 CE] of the reign of our pious and Christ-­loving Emperor, Heraclius [610-641 CE], and in the first year of the reign of his divinely­-protected and divinely­-crowned son Heraclius, the new Constantine, the eternal Augusti and Emperors, in the first indiction in the month of April at dawn of the twenty-­second day, a Sunday, it being the first Sunday after Easter. [eis ta apolousia]

May we find mercy at the judgment­-seat of Christ our God through the prayers and intercession of this Saint, and may we be deemed worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven together with him and with all those who cherish his memory, to the glory of our Saviour Jesus Christ; with Whom to the Father and to the Holy Spirit be glory both now and for ever and world without end, Amen !

Apolytikion of Theodore of Sykeon
Fourth Tone
Since thou hadst been known from thy swaddling bands to be sanctified, and hadst been shown to be filled with graces, thou didst illuminate the world with miracles, and dist drive off the swarms of demons, O sacred minister Theodore; wherefore do thou beseech the Lord in our behalf.

Kontakion of Theodore of Sykeon
Third Tone
As thy fiery chariot, thou didst ascend on the virtues, O God-bearer, mounting up unto the dwellings of Heaven; and thou wast an Angel living on earth among men, and a man dancing for joy with the holy Angels. Hence, O Theodore, thou hast proved a godly vessel of awesome wonders and signs.

Meet Bob Atchison - the Creator of this Website

I am an icon painter, Russian Historian and Austin Web Designer formerly of Seattle, Washington and now living in Austin, Texas. My interest in Byzantium and icons began when I was 8 years old and read my first book on Byzantium called "The Fall of Constantinople".

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