Thursday, February 17, 2000

Warrior Series: St. Theodore the Tyro

Holy Great Martyr Theodore the Tyro (300 A.D.)

Saint Theodore, the fourth century martyr, is one of the most famous soldier-saints of the East. He was from Amasia of Pontus. When he entered the army, the persecution of Christians began under the Emperor Maximian (286-305). Theodore was called “tyro,” from the Latin tiro meaning “recruit” because he was newly enlisted.
When it was reported that he was a Christian, he boldly confessed Christ. The ruler, hoping that he would repent, gave him time to consider the matter more completely and then give answer. Theodore gave answer by setting fire to the temple of Cybele, the “mother of the gods.”
Legend has it that he was thrown into prison and left to die of starvation. While in prison, the Lord appeared to Theodore and encouraged him saying:
“Fear not, I am with you. Do not partake of earthly food and drink anymore, for you will be with Me in the other world in the heavens – eternal and everlasting.”
There then appeared a multitude of angels in the prison. The guards seeing the angels became terrified. Saint Theodore was taken out, tortured and condemned to death. He suffered a martyr’s death by fire.

"Do not be afraid of the world for I have overcome the world."
These are holy words both then and now.
For all who suffer, that is the true balm,
Mostly for the glorious martyrs of God.
Why should you, of the more fearful ones, be afraid?
Of its own shadow, the world is afraid!
The powerful and the ruling ones, why fear?
And of dying things, constantly dying?
Who is with the Householder is not afraid of the house,
The Householder sees everything that is in the house,
And nothing there is, that He would not know,
And His servant, what should he be afraid of?
And yet when he hears the Lord as He says:
"Do not be afraid of the world!" What more do you desire?
"Do not be afraid of the world for I have overcome the world!"
Our Lord reigns and rules over the world.
At the fire and death, Theodore smiled,
For that, wreaths he received, that never fades.

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