John, the father of Prince Theodore was born in Shotep known today as Tabur in the province of Assiut. Since his early childhood, he was raised in the church. All his heart, mind and senses were filled with divine love and grace. The smell of holiness perfumed all his work and sayings so that anyone who looked to him was attracted by the grace of God dwelling in him. His sister Emphilia was the wife of Kyrios, the Governor of Shotep. That's why John was famous and loved by all inhabitants of Shotep.
In this era there were wars between the Romans and the Persians to rule the world from East to West. As Emperor Nomarios wanted to sustain a strong army, he ordered his best men to dig deep in Upper Egypt and bring all strong men to fight for the Roman Army. Prince Anastasios was given this task so he passed by all cities in upper Egypt till he arrived to Shotep where John lives.
When prince Anastasios arrived to the town with his soldiers, all people were terrified of their looking. Knowing of their arrival, the governor Kyrios hasted to receive them with John his brother in law. Asking about the aim of his visit, they were told about the Emperor's orders. A great lunch was then prepared on the honour of the guests.
When Prince Anastasios saw John, he liked him. He noticed that he is smart, his face full of Grace and looks strong and brave. So he ordered that John would be taken as strong and honourable soldier in the King's army. The prince offered John Gold, royal uniform, a strong horse and soldiers. When seeing that, the latter was astonished: "Master, we are the ones who should offer you presents, it is not possible that you offer to us". Hence, the prince understood the meaning of those words that John doesn't want to go with him and he ordered his soldiers to arrest him and put him in jail not to escape.
When governor Kyrios knew about imprisoning John, he became so sad, he cried and begged the prince to let him. But the latter was so proud of him to present to the Emperor that he refused all their begging. His sister Emphilia when knowing, she ran in tears to John in prison and was accompanied by many people. All of which were crying. When Anastasios heard the weeping and knew what happened, he took him from their midst as he was scared they would take John away.
Then the prince told Emphilia: "My daughter I really feel sorry for your sorrow, but no one can oppose the Emperor's security, Be assured no harm will reach him". Despite of the begging of John's sister, the prince didn't accept, and kept John in prison till the next day.
The Lord's comfort to John in prison:
During the night that John passed in prison, while in deep prayer and tears before the Lord, hark a great light rose on him and he heard a voice echoing: "John why are you weeping?" He answered: "My Lord, they are taking me to a foreign land, I shall miss my land where I drank from the wells of your love, I shall leave you church where I was raised and shall go to foreigners. Neither do I know anything about wars for which I am inquired". The voice replied to him: "Do not cry John for the land of your fathers, my will is leaving your family, as I asked Abraham to leave his land and people, here am I asking you for a foreign land. There shall I bless your descendance and shall be a help and guide... I shall be glorified in your descendance, I shall make of him a chosen pot carrying my name before kings and become a pure sacrifice. Do not be afraid of the war, your blood shall never be versed. You shall be buried in this place where you are imprisoned. Hence many wonders shall take place and a church shall be built and your descendance shall inherit the land where you were born".
Hearing those words, John was calmed. He felt great peace and joy and said in his mind: "May your will be done O God".
While John was in prison, some people from Shotep were organising a team to massacre Anastasios in order to save John. Knowing that, John opposed them harshly and prevented them. He was very sad and called Kyrios his sister's husband telling: "What's that? do you want to kill him unjustly.. My brethren do not make this iniquity before the Lord, otherwise the Emperor would get mad, send his army and destroy our town. We have faith that the Lord would never leave us" and told them about the vision he had. The next day, they got John out of prison preparing to take him with Anastasios, all the town was there, children and grown ups, widows and orphans all came crying: "On your behalf, we ask the Lord to reward you all the nice things you have done with us. Your sheep's' wool was our cover, your field plant our food, your wine and oil our nourishment". Here his sister embraced him saying: "My brother John, I leave you hoping that He who gave Joseph grace in the eyes of Egypt's Pharaoh would grace you, May our Lord Jesus and His angels accompany you". Saying that, Prince Anastasios and all his soldiers were very touched. Addressing them Emphilia said: "I ask you O Prince, since you separated us my brother and I, you didn't accept money, neither did you have mercy for my tears, I ask you to keep him, and not let him meet Barabrians: My brother never fought with a sword, nor did he kill anybody". She kissed then her brother and left him in tears.
Arrival of John to Antioch:
The party moved and John with, elevating his heart to heaven in prayers that the Lord keeps him in his journey till they arrived to Antioch the Capital of the Roman Empire. There prince Anastasios presented to the king the soldiers he collected at Upper Egypt and John among them. The king passed his eyes on all of them and his sight stopped on John. His eyes depicted an impression John had left on him. That's how God gave grace for John since he arrived Antioch. The king liked him, and instead of sending him to the war, he ordered that he would stay as guest at the Prince's house.
John part of the Royal Family:
God granted grace to John in the eyes of Anastasios and his family. They decided to have him as husband to their daughter Jusania after the approval of king Nomarios. In few time, John of Shotep married Jusania daughter of Prince Anastasios and they lived in Ikhaia (actually Heraklia in Turkey) on the beach of the black sea.
Birth of Prince Theodore:
On 11 Kiahk, Princess Jusania became pregnant and gave birth to Prince Theodore. Jusania said to her husband: "I want my child to be called Theodore as Prince Theodore son of Sotiryakos of Orient, who is known for his courage and respect of all nations. I want our son to be as brave and respected as he is". John replyed: "It is the will of God that our son bear the name Theodore which means the gift of God". Since his early childhood, the child absorbed faith from his father. Despite of his young age, he heard his father's faith: About this God who created heaven and earth and sacrificed His only begotten son for our salvation and made great wonders, this God who is different from those idols who although have eyes do not see and although have ears do not hear as they are made by men. John's words to his son were as water to a thirsty land.
Struggle of light and darkness:
Jusania the saint's mother and her father were pagans worshipping the idol Achrabush. God permitted that John marries this pagan woman to attract her to faith by the end of her life. Many times, her father and she tryed to attract John's heart towards paganism. He firmly refused and showed strong faith. They were afraid to oblige him to worship idols as the king at the time believed in our Lord Jesus Christ.
When Anastasios, the father of Princess Jusania departed, she asked again her husband to worship to Achrabush saying: "Why John don't you worship Achrabush the God of my fathers, don't you know that he granted us thibeautiful child, full of grace and not like any other child, he also put love in my father's heart that he gave me to you as wife". John answered: "Many times before, I told you your father's God is no god that's why I don't worship him. I believe in the true God Jesus Christ who granted me this beautiful child full of grace, I shall take him to my land fearing that you would teach him to worship idols as you".
Hearing that, Jusania was very troubled and shouted: "You are ungrateful for my father, he brought you as slave and made you seat with Kings and Princes. He gave me to you as wife despite of our traditions and the difference of our faith. I swear in the name of Achrabush, since now on, you have no rule over me. Theodore is no more your son, unless you worship Achrabush. You must be sent with all Egyptians to the war to die".
Struggle of Faith and Paternity:
When John heard the words of his wife and her threats he was very upset and told her: "I know how cruel your heart is, I know that you mean what you say but I believe and depend on my Lord Jesus Christ who can save me from your hands". He spent the night telling to himself: "I am stuck, from one side I suspect this women who may lead me to die in war, on the other side if I return to my land she would make a pagan out of my son. While in deep prayer with the Lord, asking Him to clear His will, he saw a man in light who appeared to him saying: "Do not cry John, and do not worry about your child".
John asked: "Who are you master with this surrounding glory?", the man answered: "I am the same who appeared to you in prison, I am with you to save you in distress". John answered: "I am scared master that my son might become pagan like his mother, it is hard to me that my descendance worship false gods" He heard: "Escape to survive and go to your town and remain in the room and do not worry about Theodore, he is chosen by me".
When the vision was over, John left in the dark without letting anybody know and returned to his land, escaping to survive, loving Jesus Christ and keeping Theodore in the divine arms as he was promised.
The saint Prince Theodore was still a young child when his father left him for Egypt. The prince lived with his pagan mother to whom the idol used to say:" You should know that I cannot see this child, I lost hope in this house since Theodore's birth" Jusania thought that John, her Egyptian husband could with magic ways transform the idol to this status.
The Christian Emperor Nomarios died and the monster Diocletian came to power. Among all these changes, prince Theodore was physically and spiritually growing in a struggle between Christian faith that he received very early and paganism with his mother. A struggle between the tender and honest paternity from which he was deprived and the deriving emotion of his mother. God permitted Theodore's heart to struggle. He was confused between the two till his mother applied to him in the royal palace to receive all the wisdom, sciences and military techniques in order to become a General in the Roman Army.
Theodore receiving the title Prince:
Theodore received the title Prince because he is a descendant of Prince Anastasios (his grand father) and his mother (Princess Jusania). He impressed many Prince sons and royal palace people by his angelic face from which a divine grace appeared. His talking was beautiful in the ears of all his friends, they used to say: we never saw a comparable person in all Anatolia.
People assured that Theodore is a copy of his father John the Egyptian who was expelled by his mother because of his faith of the true God Jesus Christ and not following her in worshipping idols. In the flow of time, discussion with colleagues and employees turned to making fun of him because what his mother did to his father. That's how Theodore carried the cross since his childhood, a cross of loosing paternal love, another of people making fun of him and finally a pagan mother.
Prince Theodore knows the real God:
One day, Prince Theodore returned home very depressed and refused to eat. His mother came asking: "What happened to you my dear son?", He answered: "My soul is so sad mum and my heart breaks in pieces". She said: "Why all this pain?", he replied: "Because what I hear everyday about my Egyptian father John, and that you are the reason behind his escape, they say that you expelled him from the house, how does that happen?"
His mother, troubled by his questions replied: "Your father died in the war because he didn't worship our great Gods" Theodore said: "People say that my father escaped to Egypt and that he didn't yet die, they say I am almost a copy of my Egyptian father, talk to me mum about him, what was he like? what did he work? I want to know everything about him" His mother replied: "Those are lies my son, your father was a bad man who didn't worship Appolon the great God who got angry. He is not worthy all this concern, let away this discussion and don't make the Gods get angry".
"Which gods are you talking about mum" He said "Are those idols gods? How would this stone be a god fulfilling our requests?"
She said: "What are you saying? how do you dare denying the divinity of the gods?" He replied: "The divinity of those stone are not worth than a foot push, they are unable to defend themselves.. Divinity mum is the nature of my Egyptian father's god, the true god Jesus Christ." She replied: "Are you mad son, forget this nonsense?" He replied: "No I knew the truth. Yesterday, in a dream, a man came to me saying: I am John your father who expelled by your mother because of her idols. Keep your soul of her till the Lord wills that we meet. Let we return back mum, honest to my father, let us go, follow his footprints and believe in Jesus Christ as God and Lord and receive the salvation of our souls".
The mother shouted to her son: "Woe to you son, my sadness is revived today. Your father is dead in the war long time ago, and now you want to leave me. I shall loose you both."
Theodore said: "Let us ask my father's God whether he is alive or not" She replied: "Your father's God, son of the Carpenter was speared in his side and died as people of his race crucified him for his bad doings".
He said: "It is true Mum that you called him son of the carpenter, he might have done the cross on which he was crucified to save the world. He might also have done sarcophagus for the bodies of his saints who shall die in his name".
His mother said: "I hope I wouldn't have taken you to the royal palace. The Magic of Egyptians came on you, you are not my son, Alas! you are not part of me.. You lost your mind son. Come, bow to the god and ask forgiveness, may the Lords be happy and bless you". Theodore said: "I shall not bow except for Lord Jesus Christ, the God of my Egyptian father. Those idols have no place in my heart".
Destroying the idol:
After Prince Theodore finished his discussion with his mother, he beat the idol which fell in pieces on the ground. As the devil lived inside, he said: "Theodore as you expelled me from the house of Jusania your mother, I shall be a source of big trouble to you, I will make Diocletian kill you and shall accumulate all my evil against you". The saint replied: "I knew your sheeting indeed and how you misguide people all time, but I also know the shame that came on you when you were first expelled by the angels. since then all Jesus Christ servants defeated you in all time and place. You inherit eternal shame. As you are scared of me who is not yet baptised in the name of Christ, what would you do when you shall see me Christian". Breaking the idol, Theodore defeated the devil and confessed the strength of his faith in Jesus Christ.
Prince Theodore baptised:
After breaking the idol, Prince Theodore left in big joy never felt before. He went to the priest whose name wFr Uligianus. He asked him to be baptised in the name of Christ and Chrismated with the Holy Spirit. Hence he wore the dress of piety and holiness to enter the kingdom of Heaven. When baptised, Prince Theodore was only Sixteen, his mind and all senses were enlightened with the grace of Christ and he was growing in the grace and spiritual knowledge. Joining the army, he became known and found grace in the eyes of his superiors that Emperor Diocletian gave him a high position in the army, leading 500 soldier. He appointed him protector of the kingdom's borders. Prince Theodore fulfilled his national military mission with courage combined with divine grace. He guaranteed security and peace for all inhabitants near the borders. All loved him and he became the pride of the Emperor who called him: "The brave Prince".
Our saint, Prince Theodore passed hard spiritual temptations. His mother who didn't know the Lord Jesus and his father not around were enough that he tastes the bitterness of pain. With the strength of faith and life of humility he could overcome all the devil's wars and God gave him divine grace that filled his heart with joy. God gave him to make wonders in the name of Christ.
One day, as they were camping at the foot of some mountain, he went to supervise his soldiers. He left the camp and went alone to discover the other side of the mountain. The devil used this chance to mislead him: He saw a troop of wild camels giving milk to their children. He kept following it with some soldiers. They couldn't catch it and they were almost dying of thirst, when a voice from heaven was heard: "Theodore, Theodore son of John the Egyptian.. enough effort you and your soldiers in this desert, it is a temptation from the devil". He was very astonished of hearing somebody calling him in his surname and father's name. Looking there, he saw a deer in the colour of the sun, a circle of light between it's horns. In the centre of the circle a lamb was talking to him: "Theodore, I am the lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world, I am the Lord of hosts, God of John your father".
Hearing that, the saint turned his horse to find his soldiers almost dead of thirst, he came down from the horse, and prayed: "O Lord that raised those who fell on the way to Babylon, who cared with his strength for the people of Israel for 40 years, raise those lying down, sustain them with Your hands, thine is the Glory for ever Amen". And behold a raining cloud covered them that they drank with their horses and their hearts refreshed. They bowed before the saint saying: "Blessed is the Lord your God, our master Prince Theodore and blessed is the time when you became our superior". He replied: "It is the gift of God I did nothing, I want you to watch this strange animal which appeared to me on the top of the mountain". They walked with him to the place and saw the animal and said: "Indeed we never saw such a cute looking animal".
As the saint didn't understand was had been told to him by the lamb, he wanted to catch him and take it to his house. He ordered his soldiers to divide into two groups and catch it alive.
Lord Jesus appears to Prince Theodore:
Prince Theodore raised his eyes to heaven to pray and behold the same scene he had seen on the deer's head calling him: "Dear Theodore, do not try to catch me, I shall catch you with the divine net, I am the one who incarnated from the Virgin's womb, baptised by John and crucified on the cross.. I am Jesus Christ, son of God that taketh away the sins of the whole world, the God of John your father, Go to him before he dies, I am the one who kept you when you were following the camels' troop, who are devils who wanted you lost to die in the desert. I am the symbol on the deer's head. I am in heaven and earth and everywhere. I am yesterday and today, be brave and strong as you shall witness my name. I gave you a big grace, my archangel shall guard you and give you triumph in all wars so that you always defeat your enemies. You shall be known all over the earth. You believed in Me and I shall save you. If you call I shall answer. Return now and ask your soldiers not to follow the deer".
The saint returned to his soldiers saying: "Come on brothers, we can't catch him, but he shall catch us with his net" and he told them what he saw.
Prince Theodore sat meditating God's deeds with his soldiers, giving them water. God who didn't want the soldiers to starve and touched them with gentleness and love and talked to them as God and saviour. He remembered then, his childhood and the big desire he has to see his Egyptian father. He rose and prayed that the Lord helps him fulfil his desire by meeting his father John the Egyptian. He wanted to meet he who left inside him a fruit of faith since his early childhood.
One night, the angel of the Lord appeared to him saying: "Theodore, go to Egypt, there you shall meet with John your father and I shall protect you all the way".
Journey to Upper Egypt and meeting his father:
Prince Theodore got down the mountain to make what the Lord told him. To see his father before his death. He returned home, took some money and left without telling his mother or anybody else. He was afraid, that they would prevent him. He called one of the best soldiers he had, Epipham with another called Dioscoros and told them: "I want to go to Egypt to see my father". They answered: "Didn't the people say that your father died in the war when you were still a kid?" He told: "It is not true. My father escaped from the house and returned to Egypt, his land after he refused denying his faith". They said: "Who told you that?" He said:"I knew everything from my friends and my mother Jusania. She told that she wanted him to worship idols and he refused".
The angel of the Lord appeared to me and told me that my father still lives in Egypt and that I should go to him. I want you both to lead the army. I beg you not to tell my mother or any of the palace people about it till I come back to you". They told: "We won't let you go alone to a foreign land, we shall escort you wherever you go". He thanked them telling that the army needs one of them to lead it so that nobody feels my absence "One of you would stay and one would come with me to Egypt" After prayer they decided that Epipham would accompany Prince Theodore and Dioscoros would lead the army.
The next day, Prince Theodore gathered his army and told them to obey Dioscoros and told them: "Good bye brothers, pray that the Lord would accomplish what I am going for" He arranged for a ship, took some soldiers and Epipham his friend and they left for Alexandria. From there they took the Nile River to every city and village looking for Shotep. In this trip, the blessed life and Holy Spirit grace of Prince Theodore was revealed when he calms the storms with his prayers. He healed the sick and got devils out that all people on board believed in Jesus Christ. When he arrived to El-Bahnasa, all officials of the city came to receive him saying: "Let us receive the Emperor's "Stratelates" (as minister of defence nowadays). They presented gifts to him, but he wouldn't receive as but asked them for the City of Shotep. They guided him to a ship travelling there.
Arriving to Shotep in the Roman Military Uniform terrified inhabitants who escaped, scared that their children would be taken to dye in the war. When he noticed it, Prince Theodore said: "Do not be afraid my brothers, God is alive, I shall not harm any of you". He entered the church and prayed in tears: "O Lord God that terrifieth heaven and earth, to whose glory all creatures bow. I beg Thou not to abandon me, Thy slave. Thou hast sent me to this mission, lettest me see my father's face as Thou hast made Joseph watch his father Jacob and brothers' face once more, for Thou is the glory for ever Amen"
He sat there for a moment and watched a man begging. He gave him a dinar and asked him: "You old man, don't you know John who is from here?" The man answered: "You mean John the soldier or another?" He said: "I mean the soldier, is he still alive?". The man asked: "How do you know him?". The Prince said: "I don't know him, I am sent to him from the Emperor". The man replied then: "What the Emperor has to do with him, he's an old man, barely finding his food, he is sick and can't go to the war" The prince pegged him: "Take me to him before he dies so that I give him some blessing".
The man asked: "Are you from capital?" He replied: "Yes from Antioch", The old man asked: "I see your face, close to John's face, the difference is that you are a great officer and he is a poor soldier. Many times we heard him crying and asking him he used to reply that he has one son from whom he was deprived because of distance". Hearing this Prince Theodore got sure that he is undoubtedly his father.
A long waited meeting:
Arriving to the place, they told to John: "Behold the Emperor's stratelates wants you". John raised his eyes to his son and asked: "Who are you sir?" Prince Theodore said:"I am the Roman Emperor's stratelates and I am sent to you" John said: "Sir, I have nothing to do with the Emperor and he has no need of me, I dying soon. My eyes can barely see, my tongue barely speaks, my body is in agony and the angel of death is near. Behold my soul refreshed when I heard your pure voice and your nice talk. Are you from the Capital? Do you know Jusania daughter of Anastasios?" The Prince said: "Yes I do, and she worships idols". John asked: "Is her son still alive? Did she marry after his father?" Here Prince Theodore came to tears, he couldn't listen more, and he asked his father: "How do you know her? and why are you asking about her son?" John said: "When I was soldier there, I married her and we got a son that I called Theodore, till this moment I have only one desire, seeing my son". Hearing that, Prince Theodore in tears, fell in his father's arms saying: "I am Theodore dad, whose mother expelled you because of her idols. I was baptised in the name of Christ who told me that you are still alive, that's why I hurried to meet you as the Lord ordered me". They kissed each other and cried a lot, in this extreme joy and happiness, john forgot his pains and illness, all his youth revived and he said: "You are my son Theodore, the light of my eyes, my soul is finally satisfied, my elderliness turned to youth, seeing you my son, all illness is gone. Today the Lord fulfilled my prayers asking Him to keep you. With the Holy Spirit's grace I lived to this day to see you a young man, Blessed is the Lord our God, How rich His love and tenderness are".
The news of this meeting spread in the city, and all rejoiced that the Lord brought John's son back to him. They all got out of their houses to congratulate John and receive his son "Prince Theodore". After five days, John of Shotep passed away after blessing his son. All people presented condolence for Prince Theodore who was really comforted by a strong faith. He told the people: "Here is my testament, when my life is over and I pass away, bring my body to be buried beside my father's".
Prince Theodore back to Antioch:
While Prince Theodore was in Shotep Assiut. The war got strong between the Romans and the Persians. Emperor Diocletian sent to the Generals of his army telling them about the war. Dioscoros, the delegate of Prince Theodore sent to the latter an urgent message informing him of the news. The Persians at the Roman borders and the possibility of having war and battles. He wrote to him: "From Dioscoros the servant to my master Prince Theodore the Stratelates. I the unworthy, to whom you confined leading the army. I should like to inform you that a great nation announced the war against us so the emperor remembered the triumphant heroes amongst you are. You are the only among Roman leaders who has efficient military intellectuality to defend the Persians' attacks against our Empire. Whenever you receive this letter, come quickly as the king needs you really".
Read the message, Prince Theodore returned to Antioch, leaving a soldier there. He ordered him not to leave the place till his body comes there. He asked his nephew to distribute donations to the needy, the poor and the handicapped. He gave them both everything and left to Antioch.
The visit of Prince Theodore to Shotep had a big impact on the people, they exaggerated in venerating the saint that they wrote his name on their ships and gardens and installed a marble pillar in the Nile on which they cut his picture to remember him all the time.
Prince Theodore of Shotep meeting Prince Theodore of Orient:
When Prince Theodore arrived to Antioch, all soldiers were waiting for him and received him. The Emperor ordered that Prince Theodore would lead the war against Persians. There he met with Prince Theodore of Orient.
Their meeting was rejoicing to their hearts. They lived in a common opinion and spirit and they always prayed before any work. When they saw the Persian army spread as Locusts, they asked the patriarch to celebrate a mass to triumph. The Lord gave them a sign that whenever they see Archangel Michael leading them with his fire sword they attack knowing that they would succeed. If they don't see him they don't attack knowing that the Lord doesn't permit it.
This time, the two saints saw the sign and knew that the Lord would help them triumph. They let Diocletian know and he said: "You triumphant heroes, attack and I shall give the most generous gifts and presents". They had strong faith that triumph is not a fruit of the strength of the army but of God.
The two Princes organised the army and attacked in courage and struggled till they defeated the Persians who withdrew completely from the Empire's borders. Peace returned because of the two Princes whom Diocletian glorified more than anybody did and called them "The two brave citizens".
The called the elder "The Oriental" and the young "The triumphant" and he didn't prefer one to another. In fact, they didn't need glory from the Emperor, they just said that the strength of the Lord led to their triumph. Diocletian called Prince Theodore of Shotep, "Hero of the Roman Empire" and gave him the highest decorations that he became loved and respected by all.
Martyrdom of Prince Theodore of Orient:
The devil inspired to Emperor Diocletian to deny his faith in Jesus Christ, telling him that one of Christ's disciples sold him with silver while the other denied him. The devil advised him to worship idols that he knows, telling him that he triumphed in the war because of them.
He cut idols where devils lived. He imposed the worship of idols on all and send throughout the empire telling that whoever shall refuse bowing to idols shall dye. In that night, when Diocletian lost his faith, Prince Theodore of Orient became very sad he prayed and cried in bitterness. At midnight, Christ appeared to him, talked to him, encouraged him and promised him with the everlasting crown.
Knowing that Prince Theodore of Orient refused bowing to idols, Diocletian called him and ordered him to raise incense to idols, refusing doing so, the Emperor ordered to crucify him on a Lubbock (acacia) tree and that 150 nail, 20 cm each should pierce his body.
While he was on the tree, the Lord sent Archangel Michael to his friend Prince Theodore of Shotep telling: "Go to watch your friend of Orient and assist his struggle" He took his horse and went fast to the city, where he found a gathering, when he saw what happened, he cried bitterly. Raising his eyes up, he saw Archangel Michael taking Prince Theodore the Oriental's soul to Heaven in angels' praise and joy. His martyrdom took place on 12 Tuba 306.
The sight of his friend's martyrdom left a great impact on Prince Theodore of Shotep. He was tortured by sadness for his beloved friend, but this sadness elevated his heart and desires to eternal life and planted the desire of endure pain till de, to be martyr, he himself for the name of Christ following his friend.
for the city of Euchaita
The value of St Theodore was well shown in the many triumphs of the Roman Empire that Diocletian wanted to award him. As the pagan governor of Euchaita died, he appointed Prince Theodore of Shotep in his place. Euchaita is a town at the east of Syria and close to both the Euphrates river and the Persian borders.
Prince Theodore with his soldiers camped around the town to enter it. A huge dragon, inhabited by the devil used to attack the city often and the former governor would offer him some boys to appease him.
At night, Archangel Michael appeared to him telling that a widow had arrived town with her two sons who had been kidnapped and tied to a sires tree as offerings for the dragon.
The widow knew about the coming of the brave prince, she hurried to receive him. Seeing him in the midst of many soldiers she asked herself: "Would this great prince look at me?". Seeing her, prince Theodore called her asking: "Why do I see you woman crying and whipping that way? Has anybody in the town cheated you? Which God do you worship?" She was very troubled that she didn't answer. She found grace in the eyes of the prince who said: "In the name of the Lord Jesus, talk and I shall make justice to you. Those tears shan't be forgotten by God and this sad heart shall be filled by Christ's grace and it shall be happy and full with peace, security and hope". The widow said: "I am Christian, believing in the One Living God Lord Jesus Christ, and you know about my problem". He said: "who told you that I know about your problem?" She said: "Your humility, my lord and your orders to the soldiers to bring me here and my feeling that you are a man of our God made me sure that you know all about my problem that I don't need to talk" He replied: "Please tell your problem". She said: "I am a Christian who married a pagan man and had two children. My husband died during the war and I baptised discreetly my children in the name of Jesus Christ as I feared my husband's family, that's why I escaped with my two sons to raise them in this town to live with Christ. I was
surprised to find the people of the town kidnap my children and haste to present them as food to the dragon. They tied them to the tree that the dragon swallows them whenever he comes. Since three days I am in this status, have mercy on me, since three days my eyes are not close, not a drop of water entered my mouth and my sons are tied with iron binds to the tree.
While I was looking to the tree and crying, I heard a voice from the tree saying: "Go to Theodore, the man of God and he is capable of returning your kids back to you". That's why, I hurried to you, have mercy on the tears of your slave, save my children and the God of Heaven shall reward you"
Prince Theodore asked: "Where are your kids?" She replied :"up the mountain which is east of the town". So Prince Theodore went to kill the dragon whose time has come to eat the children. People were terrified that they closed themselves in their houses. Even the soldiers tried vainly to stop the Prince. With his horse he hurried to the location, got on his feet, and on knees he prayed: "Lord Jesus Christ capable of everything, Thou hast saved Daniel from the lions and strengthened him that he killed the dragon in Babylon. Thou hast given strength to Prince Theodore of Orient to kill the dragon under the stairs, I ask Thou to be with me to kill this monster who is dreadful to souls. Thine be the Glory and the strength for ever Amen"
Concluding his prayer, he got back on his horse and hasted to meet the dragon. In a strong voice, he shouted to him: "Calm down you damned, and the devil inside you that my God Jesus Christ shall subdue on my hands. The dragon lifted his head, high over the horse to swallow the saint. The horse was so scared that it wanted to return back, but the saint pulled his bridle that it neighed high. And behold Archangel Michael appears and says: "Do not be afraid Theodore, stab him with your spear, I shall strengthen you till he dies". Prince Theodore made the sign of the cross on his spear and stabbed the dragon in the front of his head. Archangel Michael, was passing rocks to him, one by one to kill the dragon. The people watching were wondering from where do those rocks reached him. The hands of Archangel Michael were also holding the spear with the saint's hand that it pierced the dragon's head to the other side. For two hours the dragon was still moving with the spear in his head, the saint was holding the spear in strength till it died.
After it's death, Prince Theodore took the sword and cut it's head. Fire and water got out of it's mouth that the mountain was full with it's poison. That took place in 18 Paouni.
The devil announcing the war against the saint:
Seeing that his house has perished, the devil dwelling in the dragon appeared to the saint in the form of a tall black man who called him saying: "Did you know who am I that you expel me out of my house, didn't you know what happened to your friend Theodore of Orient was because of killing the dragon under the stairs. I shall excite kings against you that they shall torture you and cut your head" Hearing that Theodore lifted his spear to stab him but he escaped saying: "It is the third time you beat me, first you destroyed the idol at your mother's house, second you went after the camels in the desert and finally you killed the dragon. Woe to you Theodore. I am going to the emperor make him do what I want"
Prince Theodore returned to the widow saying: "Go, take your sons" Going there she couldn't unbind them and requested the saint's assistance. He came, prayed as he does before doing anything and the iron binds were self destroyed. The woman so grateful said to the saint: "My lord take us, my children and me as slaves, you saved us from death and gave us a new life" He replied: "Impossible sister, we are all servants of Christ, get up take your children and go to the city in the orient, there you shall find a women called Jusania, tell her your son Theodore asks you to let us stay with you"
Conversion of the people of Euchaita to Christianity:
Many people had gathered to watch the wonder of killing the dragon, they all said to the saint: "Blessed is your coming O Prince, for your saved our town. There is no god except Lord Jesus Christ, god of Prince Theodore and they believed".
They measured the dragon that was killed by the saint and it measured 24.5 Cubit. His mouth was 7 span big. It is so big that a whole human can enter and get out of his mouth. They took his leather off and hang it in the town's gates that everybody would know the courage of Prince Theodore. They wrote a letter to Diocletian describing the courage and help shown by Prince Theodore. Entering the city, he saw the idol "Panachurtos" worshipped by the inhabitants and he destroyed it. When the priests of the idol saw their God destroyed they complained to Diocletian. Everybody in Euchaita who saw the death of the dragon left paganism and believed in Lord Jesus Christ God of Prince Theodore.
They asked the saint to be baptised. He hurried and found a priest who told them about Christ and baptised them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and celebrated the Eucharist for them. They glorified God and thanked him for having Theodore the Stratelates.
Pagan priests against Prince Theodore:
In 305 Dioceltian abdicated to his daughter's husband Galerius who abdicated in the same year to his brother's son Maximian who exceeded in cruelty all previous emperors, he tortured and killed thousands of Christian martyrs and in the end of his rule he committed suicide. Then Leukinios ruled East and Constantin West. Leukinios persecuted Christians but for a shorter period as he wadefeated by Constantin in 323.
After killing the dragon Prince Theodore came to Antioch in a great strength, fearing not pagan emperors. Everybody loved prince Theodore because he loved people and help young and old.
But pagan priests, seeing that the people of Euchaita converted to Christianity, they were very furious and went to the emperor complaining: "Your Majesty, May you live long years, please hear our complain. Your Majesty had ordered everybody to worship the great gods who give triumph in the war and disperse enemies. But the Stratelates who is under your authority came to Euchaita, he killed the dragon, destroyed our gods, disobeyed your majesty and set the worship of the Galilians. We ask your majesty to study our complaint and what he has done to our gods".
Leukinios asked who is this stratelates and he was told that it is Theodore. For few moments he was completely astonished, then he said: "If it is Theodore, you need him, we can't harm him as he is loved by everybody in the Palace" and he said to the priests: "Raise up, go the temple and make offers for the gods, then eat, drink, rejoice and rest till tomorrow".
Knowing what the priests said to the emperor, he entered his room and prayed: "You Only begotten Son of God, who lives forever, living in the unreached light, you were born from the Virgin, you came to earth to save the world. You promised to help all, I relay on you, send fire from heaven to burn the temple of idols and those gathered there for this bad service. Because all the glory should be for you with your Father and the Holy Spirit". The Lord appeared to him and said: "Be strong my chosen Theodore, and remember what I have said to you, understand what was said by Paul - No one shall be crowned unless he struggles - I shall be glorified in you, in your martyrdom more than in your life, your name shall be mentioned in the whole world over generations, it shall be a source of blessing, condolence and help for those who call you. And now my beloved, behold the war is close don't be afraid because I shall be with you wherever you go. I ordered Archangel Raphael to be with you till you accomplish your struggle. Now my beloved I accomplished your request and burned the temple of idols and all inside".
Finishing these words with Theodore, the Saviour ascended to heaven with His angels and big glory.
After the fire and the death of priests inside, the devils full of jealousy of Theodore, excited the whole city telling that Theodore burned it because he was angry of Euchaita priests who accused him before the Emperor. Knowing of the fire and what is said, the emperor ordered promptly to bring Theodore before him.
Prince Theodore meeting the Emperor:
Following the orders of the Emperor, Prince Theodore came to the Palace. The Emperor addressed him: "What are you doing in the whole world with the magic of this so called Jesus?" He answered:" Your Majesty, My Lord Jesus is no magician, He hates all idol worshippers and magicians. I am soldier for my master and saviour Jesus Christ, the real King"
Hearing that, the Emperor got very furious: "I swear to torture you in all ways unless you raise incense to the honourable gods". Prince Theodore replied: "Do whatever you want to me. My Lord Jesus Christ shall assist me all the time and rescue me of all trouble".
Then the Emperor began talking gently: "Theodore, you are a great soldier. What happened to you? You are my favourite in the whole empire, why should you like to leave our army away? Is war hard for you? If you inquire money, take whatever you want. But do not break my heart by calling this name "Jesus" before me"
Theodore replied: "Your Majesty, aren't you ashamed of offering me money to deny my Lord. Do you want me counted with Judas who sold his master for thirty coins of Silver?" The king said: "Theodore, forget about this stupid talk, because you know that Jesus is unable to save you from my hands. You also know that I love you more than many in the Palace. I feel sorry for you that you shameless mentioned that before me. I swear by the Great Gods Apollon and Artamis and the strength of my empire that although I love you I would make you perish, Now raise incense to the gods or you shall be ashamed in the palace"
Prince Theodore answered: "The prophet David said Those relaying on the Lord won't be ashamed while those relaying on the hand makings and proud of their idols shall be" The Emperor got very furious and ordered that torturing instruments would be set and that Prince Theodore should be degraded from all his military degrees.
The saint told him: "You ignore that all the glory of the world is not worth while my Lord's glory is eternal life in the kingdom of heaven"
The Emperor said: "I swear by the gods, giving triumph to the kings in the war, I shall destroy your body with fire after applying all kinds of tortures to you"
Although the Emperor knew the courage of Prince Theodore, he didn't change his mind on torturing him in the most cruel ways.
Beating with iron sticks, raising on the press and Archangel Michael appears to him :
He ordered 8 soldiers to throw him on the ground, bind his hands behind his back and beat him with iron sticks consecutively in order to break all his bones, let his flesh be cut that his blood flows on the ground. Then he ordered that his body would be raised on the press and pressed that it perishes. And behold Archangel Michael comes down the earth and says to him: "Courage Theodore, the hour has come when your struggle shall be ended. Now send Anastasios to your mother asking her to name herself Straticha instead of Jusania. Nobody would then recognise her. When they burn your body close to her house, make sure she would take it in secret, shroud it and take it on a boat to "Shotep". There plenty of people shall believe because of it, they shall become martyrs and many wonders shall occur in that place. Your name shall be in help to those who call it, whether in earth or in the sea and save many from oppression and trouble. Archangel Michael put his hand and healed all his wounds and ascended to heaven.
Seeing the saint's face bright and his body intact and healthy, the emperor said to him: "I hope you obey me Theodore and be away from tortures, I swear by the life of Apollon, you are beloved to me more than all Generals". The people of Euchaita gathered then around the king, crying against him they were saying: "May the god of Theodore vanish you as you want to kill this great general who saved us from the dragon"
Seeing the saint intact and healthy, many soldiers and inhabitants believed in Christ saying: "The god of Prince Theodore is One, he saves those who relay on him"
Letting the saint on an iron bed with fire beneath and Archangel Raphael helping him:
On the next day, the soldiers led him before the pagan emperor who said to him: "Offer sacrifices to the gods, Theodore in order to be released from tortures" The saint replied: "I would never do it" Trying to look kind the emperor said: "Obey me that I would restore you the your previous post" The prince replied in precision: "I won't worship your gods, do whatever you want to me because I am a Christian who believes in his God, Jesus Christ son of God is eternal".
Hearing that Prince Theodore still holds to his faith, the emperor became very furious and ordered his soldiers to let Prince Theodore lay on an iron bed with fire beneath. The saint raised then his eyes to heaven and prayed: "My Lord, you heard the 3 children calling your name from the fire. You saved Joseph from trouble and Daniel from the lions. Save me now unless people ask where is his God?" At this time, a big cloud covered the whole area with heavy rain that the fire calmed. And behold Archangel Raphael came down to earth, unbounded St Theodore, gave him joy and strength and ascended to heaven. "S" the officer leading the soldiers, seeing the wonders happening to the saint, he believed with all his soldiers. They went to the emperor and addressed him saying: "May the Lord make you vanish you stubborn against Jesus Christ. When would you be ashamed and stop all what you're doing the Christ's servants. You should know that from now on we are Christians and believe in the God of Prince Theodore.
Hearing that, the emperor ordered that the officer and soldiers would be bind and thrown in a shaft full with fire. At the other hand, they wouldn't wait to be bind, they were making the sign of the cross and jumping into the fire. Prince Theodore encouraged them and they all the 2500 soul were martyrs in that day (25 Baramuda).
Beating the saint with cow nerves:
Seeing that his tortures to Prince Theodore got and impact on the people opposite to what he had expected, Emperor Likinios kept St Theodore in prison till the next day. He called him then, and asked: "Aren't you tired Theodore of the tortures, just obey me and I shall release you from all that" The saint remained still. The emperor ordered then that the saint would lay on the ground on his face and would be beaten with cow nerves. 8 soldiers where lapidating him, 4 on each side. But the Lord Jesus assisted the saint that he wouldn't feel what they were doing, that the soldiers said to the king: "We are tired of beating him and he doesn't seem to feel any pain".
The soldiers nail him and Archangel Raphael appears to him:
The emperor ordered then that the saint would lay on an iron bed and that iron nails would pierce his body and heart. He also ordered that his leg would be broken. He brought a mixture of boiling oil, sulphite and molten tar to be versed in his broken leg and mouth. The soldiers did all what the emperor ordered. At this hour, Archangel Raphael descended to earth and got the nails off the saints body and pierced them into the emperor body who cried painfully: "My Lord Theodore, help me and save me from this punishment" The saint replied: "Now you know the cruelty of the punishment, your majesty, you won't find rest unless you confess that there is no god on earth or in heaven except the god of Theodore" Because of his great pain, the emperor said: "I confess there is no god except Theodore's" The saint said: "You confessed only with your mouth, but your heart lies in great bitterness, but for the salvation of all people gathered today I shall let you see the strength of God" He made the sign of the cross on the emperor and the nails got out his body and he got released.
The people who saw this accident cried: "There is no other God except Theodore's, we are christians and believe in the God of Theodore and they kept insulting the emperor and his idols" The emperor got very angry that he ordered the soldiers to decapitate the people who were there (427 people) that the ground was full of the bodies (in 26 Baramuda).
Beating the saint with pins and hanging him from his legs on a tree having 3 stones bind round his neck and Lord Jesus Christ appearing to him:
When great people on the capital saw the mass conversions to Christianity resulting from the tortures, they were afraid and said to the emperor: "We urge you not to let Theodore in the city more than that, unless the city would perish because of his sorcery. Please, your majesty, send it to governor Jubilius who is good in torturing. May be he would listen to him and offer sacrifices to the gods, or he would decapitate him" The emperor put him in prison till the next day when he brought him and said: "Theodore, has your heart accepted to raise incense for the gods that I release you?"
The saint replied: "It would never happen that I leave my Lord Jesus Christ and follow your impure idols that have eyes and don't see, have ears and don't hear, have hands and don't touch and have mouths and don't talk. You created those idols and you resemble them, as well as all those who worship and depend on them" The king got furious because of those words he ordered that Theodore's hands would be bind on his back and that he would be beaten with pins. His clothes would be taken off and he would be flogged with cow's fat. They did what the emperor ordered until the saint's blood flew like water on the ground. In all that the saint was patient like the gold gets purified in fire and increases in it's brightness. The emperor told him: "One word you pronounce would release you" the saint replied: "I have nothing to say, do whatever you want to me quickly". The emperor ordered then that the saint would be hanged from his legs on a tree and that three stones would be hanged to his neck. The saint was so patient that the emperor said: "I never saw such patience on such tortures"
The same night, Jesus Christ appeared to Prince Theodore saying: "Rejoice my beloved Theodore, win o winner and have strength because I shall be with you. Be patient until you expose Likinius and his gods. Be ready, tomorrow they shall send you to governor Jubilius and you shall pass many tortures. Do not fear them, I shall be with you wherever you go" Christ put his hands on the saint's body and blessed him saying: "win, o my beloved Theodore and struggle in my name"
On the next day, Emperor Likinios wrote to Jubilius, Governor of Anatolia saying: "From Likinios, the almighty emperor to the Governor Jubilius. Rejoice when they bring the stubborn officer Theodore. Torture him with all things you know hard till he offers sacrifices to the gods or kill him with the sword"
Binding the saint's hands and legs and hanging 100 pounds of iron round his neck:
The emperor ordered that the saint would be brought from jail before him as he is with the iron on his neck. The iron was so heavy for the saint that he couldn't walk and the soldiers were trailing him with anger to meet the emperor who said to him once again: "Theodore, offer sacrifices for the great god Apollon who created the universe and I shall release you from all these tortures" Prince Theodore replied: "You are ignorant, this idol didn't create the universe but my Lord Jesus Christ created all the universe, the seen and unseen. I believe in nobody but my Master, Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ". With a big anger, the emperor ordered that an iron collar should be around his neck and bind, he should be delivered to some 20 soldiers to escort him in a boat to Jubilius the governor of Anatolia.
Putting the saint to jail and Jesus Christ appearing to him:
In his iron binds, with the emperor's letter, the saint was introduced to governor Jubilius who ordered to keep him in jail till he decides what he should do.
In jail, the Lord performed many wonders on the hands of Prince Theodore. Any sick person in the town who asked for his intercession was healed. He was talking to the people about Lord Jesus Christ and announcing the kingdom of heaven and eternal life to them. They were enjoying listening to his words as God granted him visible on his face, a big grace that attracted many. They were rendering glory to God, leave away the worship of idols and believe in Christ.
While in jail, he saw a bright light and behold he sees Christ. Prince Theodore bowed to Him. Christ said: "Hail to you, my chosen Theodore. Be strong and triumph as you ashamed Emperor Likinios. You should as well shame this pagan governor. Do not fear any tortures that he shall make to you. I shall strengthen you. I shall then take you with joy to my everlasting joy for ever" With great glory, He ascended to heaven leaving the heart of the saint full with joy.
High ranked people of the town noticed that many people converted to Christianity since Prince Theodore arrived the town and made many wonders. The hasted to the governor saying: "Till when would you leave this man in prison to make wonders in the name of his god" The governor ordered that thesaint would be brought before him. Prince Theodore arrived with 4 iron collars around his neck, his hands bind behind his back and an iron chain binding his legs. Jubilius asked: "Theodore, would you raise incense for the gods or not?" He replied: "I won't, do whatever you want because I have hope in my saviour and king Jesus Christ who shall strengthen and assist me"
Jubilius ordered that torturing instruments would be brought before him to scare him. Theodore said then: "Even if you bring a hundred times those instruments, I shall not deny my good Lord Jesus Christ to worship your handmade idols"
The saint torn into pieces with a saw and his First Death:
Seeing the saint stubborn and precise, the governor got very angry, he ordered his soldiers to saw the saint from his middle to two pieces. Sawing him, the saint passed away directly. The governor ordered the soldiers to bring a stone vessel, put the saint's organs inside. He stamped it with zinc and threw it in the depth of the river to get rid of him forever and that the faithful wouldn't find his body.
The governor felt so happy on that end. He raised his voice with great joy saying: "Today Theodore you were exposed. Where is your god which you worship? Did he come to save you from my hands?, He wouldn't save you" addressing his general, the governor said: "There is no god but Appolon and Ruphes" and while he was talking.. Lord Jesus came down from heaven on a light boat surrounded by angels. Archangel Michael on His right and Gabriel on His left. He stood above the river and asked Archangel Michael: "Haste and bring me the members of my chosen Theodore and the vessel where he was put" The angel of the Lord brought the vessel before him and opened it and raised the members of the saint. The Lord said: "O beloved Theodore my honest servant, wake up, I rose Lazarus from the dead, four days after his death. Now I order you to raise"
The saviour finishing His words, He blew with the mouth in the face of the body who rose directly. The saviour said to him: "My beloved Theodore, this is the first time you die and I raise you. You shall die three times and I shall raise you. In the fourth time, I shall come, take you and release you from your pains and take you to my town, the heavenly Jerusalem where you shall rejoice with the saints. Be strong and rejoice because I am with you".
With great glory, the saviour ascended to heaven with His angels. The saint rose up and went to the governor and found him talking to the General about him. The saint interfered saying: "Don't you know me Jubilius?" The governor replied: "I don't know you, who are you?" The saint replied: "I am Theodore which you sew yesterday, and asked the soldiers to hide my body inside in a stone vessel in the bottom of the river. With ignorance you said that his God couldn't save him from my hands. Here Jesus Christ son the living God rose me from the death to come to you and expose you and Emperor Likinios and your handmade gods"
Putting the saint in an iron press and his Second Death:
When the governor heard the blasphemy of Prince Theodore against his gods, he ordered that the saint would be bind and put into a press in order to cut his body to 4 parts and he died directly. The soldiers put the saint's remains on fire in a big copper vessel for three days and nights. Many soldier shifts were stirring the remains on fire till they got tired and told the governor: "For three days and nights now we are putting wood for the fire till his body turned to mud. We are tired of watching and the heat of the fire. We never saw a Christian who was treated as such" The governor got happy, he ordered them to take the copper vessel and dig a profound shaft in the mountain and bury the whole vessel so that nobody knows it's place. They did so and left. Among the soldiers, "Arius" was touched by the tortures, through which the saint passed. He prayed the saint to remember him before Lord Jesus. And behold he hears a voice coming from the direction of the vessel saying: "Do not be scared for me, I shall wait for you at the riverbank, we shall cross it together and go to the governor. Your incorruptible crown and your post is ready in heaven. You shall be there before me to my Lord Jesus Christ and you shall meet with my friends the saints and we shall rejoice together"
Those words achieved, a big change in the climate took place that an earthquake occurred and many storms and lighting. And behold Lord Jesus came down from heaven on a light boat with Archangel Michael on His left. He stood above the place where the remains had been buried and called Theodore saying: "O beloved Theodore wake up promptly that I talk to you". The earth shacked and the copper vessel reappeared on the surface of the ground. The saviour touched the remains who looked like mud and recreated it and rose him up saying: "Raise up my beloved Theodore I want to talk to you. You died twice and I rose you, you shall die another time and in the fourth time I shall take your soul and ascend to heaven that you rejoice forever with me". The saviour escorted the saint in His light boat to the riverbank, kissed him and ascended to heaven in great glory and the saint watching him.
Prince Theodore sat on the river bank waiting the soldiers of the king to come. When they arrived and wanted to take the boat to the other side of the river, they saw him sitting and asked each other: "Doesn't this man resemble to the one we put for three days and nights on fire and just buried? While very surprised, Prince Theodore said to them: "Haste, we want to move to the other side. I was waiting for ye" Hearing what he said, they cried in one voice: "Jesus Christ, Son of the living God is one, He saved His servant Theodore". At the governor's place all people who were there believed in Christ and followed Prince Theodore. The news of the resurrection of Prince Theodore spread that many people gathered around him (330 man, 200 women and 6 soldiers of the king). St Theodore told them: "Let us all leave to our Lord Jesus Christ, because our crowns were prepared by angels. They are waiting for us with the chosen goods prepared by our Lord Jesus Christ for those who love His name"
Prince Theodore prays on the governor's behalf:
When the news of the resurrection of Prince Theodore arrived to the governor, he was very troubled and wouldn't know what to do. He ordered his servant to prepare his luggage in haste and prepare the boat. They took the boat but few minutes later a huge storm occurred that the sailors lost control and couldn't bring the boat back to land. At this time, Prince Theodore was talking to the people with him saying: "Let us wait and see the great glory that God will reveal" Seeing the governor in the boat trying to leave Prince Theodore called him: "Where are you going, your majesty and leave us? Come to land that we expose you, your emperor and your bad gods"
The governor was very saddened to hear that. He didn't eat or drink till at night, waiting for the wind to calm. He said to his servants: "I am really tired of this race (Christians) and of Theodore, I don't know what to do to get rid of him?" At night, the servants served the food. He sat to eat with his companions onboard. Moving his right hand to hold the first cup that his servant served, it was paralised and didn't return back to his mouth. With his left hand he tried to eat bread and behold it became like the other hand. So he told his servant: "Come closer, put food in my mouth. I know that what happened to me is because of Christians" The servant took the cup to make the governor drink and behold his 5 fingers stick together, and his left hand too when he tryed to use it. The governor told him: "Take the cup with your two hands and make me drink". But the servants hands stick together. And the governor became very angry and swore saying: "I swear with the name of Apollon, I won't eat, neither would I drink or land" He ordered the sailors tanchor the boat and he went to bed. Trying to sleep he couldn't move any of his hands because they were paralysed. He asked his servant to hold and move his hands. And behold the servant became blind and fell on the boat's ground. The servant told the governor: "Your majesty, we are all dying because of this Christian whose name is Theodore".
While they were talking the chain of the anchor was cut and they didn't know until the boat landed. Seeing that the boat landed the governor said to St Theodore: "O Theodore the Stratelates, pray for your god on my behalf that He would heal me and the people with me and I shall believe in Him".
Prince Theodore bowed on his knees and prayed: "My Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on this poor man. May your Holy name be glorified that they believe that there is no God in Heaven nor in Earth but You. For You is the Glory and Honour Amen" He made the sign of the cross and the people were healed. The governor stepped on land and said: "You are the true God Apollon because you healed me from the sorcery of this Christian" He ordered that the soldiers make a big shaft and fill it with fire, tar and pork fat and threw all those who believed in Lord Jesus inside. The soldiers obeyed and all those who believed in the god of Theodore was martyr that day (15 Paouni).
Hanging the saint on a wood and combing him with iron razors:
Jubilius called Prince Theodore and asked him: "Don't you think of offering to the gods?" And the saint replied: "Return now to the true faith because all your tortures are like a dream that a man sees at night and in the morning he finds nothing" The governor got very angry and ordered soldiers to take St Theodore clothes off and to hang him on a two branch tree and to be combed with sharp iron razors till the earth absorbs his blood and nothing remains but his bones. Theodore cried this time: "Listen to me O Lord Jesus and strengthen me to shame this unbeliever governor and to glorify Your holy name, for You is the strength and the Glory for ever Amen" He then said to the governor: "Now my tortures are nothing, the skin that you destroy is nothing as I have new skin inside. A skin that you can't see and have no authority on" In his bitter pain, the saint was praying to his god in silence.
Cutting his tongue off, taking his eyes off and his third death:
The governor ordered his soldiers to take off the saint's eyes. The brought iron stick, red of fire, they put them on his eyes and pressed till his eyes came off. The saint said to the governor: "you took off the eyes of my outer body, with which I see the beauty of this world and the sins excited by the devil. I am not saddened as I have eyes inside me in my heart which lightens in the morning and at night and you can't dominate it"
The governor ordered the soldiers to bind the saint and asked to cut his tongue with a sharp razor that he doesn't confess his faith in Jesus Christ once more. The saint replied: "If you cut my tongue, I have another tongue that you can't dominate with which I praise my saviour and Lord Jesus Christ".
The soldiers applied what the governor ordered, they cut his tongue and lips. The governor ordered that they would bring an iron sarcophagus, red in fire. It has edges like a saw, when rolled it cuts the body of the saint. They rolled it until the saint's body was cut to ten pieces. The governor raised his voice then saying: "Today Theodore, you are exposed. I wish you had raised incense to the gods and got away from pain". He ordered that a big fire would be set and that the saint's members would be thrown within till his body turned to ashes.
Jubilius ordered that those ashes should be spread in the field like seeds thinking that Prince Theodore disappeared forever.
But a big earthquake took place and Lord Jesus Christ came down to earth and ordered the 4 winds to gather the ashes of Prince Theodore and said: "My chosen Theodore, I know that you endured a lot of pain because of my name and didn't deny me. I shall raise you now to accomplish all what I told you". He blew in ashes saying: "Wake up Theodore, stand on your feet to go and achieve your struggle because what you're waiting for is close" At this time, the saint rose up from the dead. The saviour kissed him and ascended to heaven with great glory.
the crown of Martyrdom
After resurrecting for the third time, Prince Theodore rose and got to the governor. Seeing him alive, the governor was terrified. He said to himself: "If I let this man one day more, all people will be converted to his religion. There is no choice but decapitating him. He wrote in this case:
[The Stratelates Theodore disobeyed the orders of His majesty the great emperor, the masters and princes, by not bowing to the great gods and offering incense. We tortured him a lot in order to submit him that he returns of his bad deeds but at the contrary he extended his rebellion and as he was a magician, we couldn't overcome him. Therefore we gave our orders of decapitating him and burning his body]
To execute the sentence, the soldiers took him to the required place. There, he asked them to for a chance to pray. He stood up and prayed: "My Lord and saviour Jesus Christ sole son of the living God. I ask you to keep your eyes on me at this hour, accept my soul and keep my body from advises of the unbeliever. Do not allow that my body be burnt unless he rejoices saying his God couldn't defend him and that all know that you come to help all those who ask your shelter. To You be all glory with the father, the son and the holy spirit forever amen".
Finishing his prayer, the Lord appeared to him in a luminous cloud and angels singing before him. The Lord said unto him: "Peace to you my beloved Theodore. Come to my arms to rejoice with me. As you shall finish your struggle keeping my faith, you shall receive the everlasting crown and eternal comfort in return of the pains you endured for My name because you refused the perishing joy of the world and loved the everlasting joy of eternity. Because of wonders your name shall be spread in the whole world.
O Theodore, he who has trouble and call me in your name, I shall answer him in haste and give him the desire of his heart. He who has mercy in your name to satisfy the hungry, cover the naked and accept the stranger, I shall feed him from the tree of life and in this world he shall need nothing. He who names his son after me, I shall keep him from all evil. He who writes the biography of your struggle and wonders, I shall write his name in the book of life. He who builds a church in your name shall receive grace from heaven. He who offers gifts in your anniversary, I shall accommodate him in the church in heaven. He who is oppressed and asks Me in your name, I shall make justice to him quickly. She who is sterile and ask a descendance for your name, I shall give her. He who has an incurable illness and asks in your name, I shall heal him quickly.
Saying those promises, the saviour greeted him and ascended to heaven with the praises of angels and Seraphs. Prince Theodore felt that his soul has refreshed and extremely rejoiced. He asked the soldiers: "Now my brothers, execute quickly what you were asked" He prayed: "Have mercy on me God and all those who remember my martyrdom" He put his neck and the soldiers cut his head off with the sword. At this time, a flood of blood got out from his body and a beautiful aroma. His martyrdom took place at the 7th hour of Saturday 20 Abib 320. The soldiers made a fire and through his body in, but the fire didn't touch it so they left it. All people who were there smelt incense and his pure soul, lifted by angels ascended to the place of the rest of martyr saints.
Conversion of Princess Jusania:
According to the Lord's promise to St Theodore, his mother Jusania had believed in Lord Jesus because of twonders that the Lords had made on the hands of her son, she paid money to the soldiers and took his body, she wrapped it in beautiful tissue, she perfumed it waiting for the chance to get it to Egypt as the saint had told her.
History recorded to us those wonders. They were recorded by his servant Demataos whom he left in (Shotep, Assiut). It was sent to Antioch and recorded as is in an old manuscript in the Coptic Museum Number 3214/606 (History).
The marble pillar of Shotep collapsing
In the evening of 20th Abib 320 martyrs, the day of the martyrdom of Prince Theodore, the marble pillar in the Nile was broken and blood came out of it, that was noticed by everybody. I, the servant of Prince Theodore, was wondering because the pillar was so strong when he travelled to Antioch leaving me in Shotep to wait for his body. Why did it fall that day? and why did blood came out of it? What does that sign mean? While I was wondering, I found the people weeping bitterly because of the collapse of the pillar.
On the next day, 21 Abib, it was the feast of Virgin Mary, we went to the church and behold Prince Theodore appears to a priest called Neketa telling: "Why are you weeping? Tell my father's relatives not to cry nor to be sad. Tell my servant Demataos, it is true that I became martyr on the 20th Abib and my body shall arrive soon. Now, I, Theodore the Stratelate, came to tell you about the pillar that collapsed. Behold this a sign to you: I shall go today and fix the pillar back that everybody knows that I came to this place today and that my body shall arrive here. The priest Neketa informed Demataos and all people. Going to check the pillar it was standing firm in it's place. They all rejoiced and glorified God. They celebrated this day, giving charity to the poor, the orphans and widows.
Transfer of the relics of Prince Theodore to Egypt:
After the end of the era of persecution, a priest, following a vision he had, went to the governor of the State Echaia and told him about the importance of moving the relics of Prince Theodore to Shotep in Upper Egypt where the land of his father is. The governor said that the way is difficult and far and the time is not suitable. The governor son, who was in his 25 and was deaf-dumb, was there at the priest presence. At this moment, the child talked and said: "Let Prince Theodore relics return back to his land in Egypt" They were all astonished to his healing and glorified God who healed him in the name of Prince Theodore. And here the governor said: "Indeed, my child was healed with the strength of God who healed him in the name of the martyr Prince Theodore".
He ordered them to transfer the saint's relics to Egypt in a great celebration in a ship that took them to Alexandria. And his relics arrived Shotep on 5th Hator.
It happened that an Alexandrian man living in Antioch had witnessed the struggle and martyr of Prince Theodore. Knowing that his relics would arrive in Egypt, he advised his wife who suffered of an evil spirit, to go to Shotep and take the saints relics blessings in order to be healed. The lady travelled to Shotep and prayed asking for the intercession of Prince Theodore to deliver her of this bad spirit. At this moment, the spirit got out of her screaming: "Here I am getting out in the strength of God and the name of the martyr Prince Theodore. She glorified God and all the people that watched the devil coming out of her.
When the workers were digging the land in order to lay the basement for Prince Theodore Church in Shotep, a worker found a treasure of gold, he hid it in his clothes and wanted to escape. And behold a knight cuts his way. The man was scared and told the knight: "Take it's half and leave me" He replied to the man: "Go to the responsible of the church and present him with the gold" Looking around him, the man didn't see the knight who also appeared to the responsible and told him about the coming of this man to him. They both met and went to the priest who took the gold and built the church. It was consecrated by the bishop of Shotep and the relics were put there with joy and praises.
Prince Theodore appears to his mother in her agony:
Jusania (Straticha) the mother of Prince Theodore got very sick. Feeling that the time of her death has come, she called the lady whose children were saved by Prince Theodore from the dragon and who since had never left her. She told her: "I say good bye to you as the time of my departure has come" She told her of a dream she had: Last night, I dreamt of great kings behind me, they troubled my soul and wanted to deliver it to wild monsters in the fire because I worshipped idols. They took me to a great dragon who opened his mouth having all me inside till I felt I was in the bottom of hell and gnashing of teeth. Others too came to swallow me by they could catch nothing as I was all in the mouth of the dragon. I swore against the day and hour when I knew the idol Achrabush because all those who worship idols lay in dark places and are tortured there. And behold a loud voice came and called: "Bring this soul, because it is for Jesus Christ. Hearing that, the dragon released me and my beloved son Theodore arrived and all those who tortured me ran away and left me alone. My son told those who had taken me to the dragon: "You have no mercy because you took this soul who is mine and tortured her. Get her now here uncorrupted" They said: "We swear to you Lord Theodore, it is just a bad dream this soul had. From now on, I shall not trouble a soul on which your name is written for ever." This is what I saw in my dream, then my son Theodore told me: "Watch the grace of Christ, it is glorious with his saints. Now your life on earth came to it's end. Rejoice mother because you kept me in your womb" Jusania, the mother of Prince Theodore, told to the lady: "Now, go and call Demataos and Neketa the priest so that I tell them what I saw and heard". She told them: "My son Theodore told me: 'tell my servant Demataos not to be sad that my body is hidden in earth till the end of the time of persecution. The day shall come when my body shall arrive to the land of my fathers and my name shall never leave this place' That's all my son told me" The next day Jusania departed in peace on the 5 Tuba.
Apparition of the body of Prince Theodore in Shotep:
When HH Abba Theodore the Patriarch of Antioch knew the story of the martyr Prince Theodore and the great wonders the Lord has shown during and after his death, he rejoiced and decided to go to Upper Egypt to see the wonders of this brave man triumphant in Egypt. Arriving to Shotep, he said: "With my eyes, I witnessed the wonders, he is performing there other than the ones I had heard and those I was told by his servant Demataos. I loved it that I rejoiced and praised the Lord for the wonders He has shown. When I looked to that place, I said in my heart that the Lord is great as He had sent every body in every place according to his plan. I said from where? and to where..? from the Orient to Shotep. From the palace of his mother to this small village of his father. It is the martyrs' love to the land of Egypt which was blessed by the visit of the Lord on His flight to Egypt from Herod with the Holy Family".
HH ABBA THEODORE THE PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH TELLS THIS WONDER:
On the 14th Paouni, the blessed Theodore appearedto me in an enlightened face and told me: "May the Lord reward you, there in heaven the crown of your confession has been prepared for you. Now that security returned to the country, the time has come that my body would be revealed to everybody. My body is hidden with some people. Go to the church which was ruined you shall find seven bodies enveloped and kept together: My father, my father's father and the family of my father. Search on a 9 arms depth, you shall find my body. Take it, shroud it well and keep it in the ruined church till a place shall be rebuilt" I answered: "Sir, I need that you show one of your great wonders on your body before I shroud it that everybody knows that you asked me" He said: "This is fine and I shall give you a sign for revealing my body" This is what the blessed told me and disappeared.
On the 16th Paouni, before sun rise, behold a women had labour to deliver. As the child took a wrong position inside her womb, Prince Theodore appeared to her in a prince dress saying: "Do not be afraid, I am Theodore the Stratelate, go and tell the Patriarch Abba Theodore to reveal my body that everybody see it and takes the blessing. Go to that place where my body lies, take ashes from the incensor that incenses my body, swallow it and you shall have an easy delivery and call your child Theodore. Saying that he left her. She woke up trembling and told everybody what she has seen. Her parents went to the place where the body of the saint lies, and as it was told in her vision they took some ashes from the incensor, gave her some to swallow and creamed her with the remaining ashes. At this hour she gave easily birth to a boy that she named Theodore as she was ordered by the saint.
The people came to me, Patriarch Theodore and told me all what happened and I knew that what the Great Martyr Prince Theodore has told me is true. I went to the place where his body lies, and dug to one arm depth and we found his body as if the earth got it out without any human help. His shrouds were still the same. We shrouded him in good new coffins, suitable to his greatness and kept him in peace in the church that was ruined.
Prince Theodore takes the hat of the captain to remind him his vow
Some people came to El-Sary Monastery in Upper Egypt and knocking so strong at the door. The Abbot (the bishop) asked one of his disciples to check who is knocking in such a way. Coming down he found a man with an uncovered head with a group telling: "Do you hide here thieves?" Hearing that, the disciple, terrified, told the bishop. The Bishop came down where he found people talking in a loud voice and asking. The bishop asked: "What's going on?" They said: "A knight came out of this monastery on a grey horse, he took the hat of the captain with the 10 dinars inside" The bishop replyed: "Here the monastery is between your hands, come on and search everywhere" They said finally:"Let us check inside the church" The door was opened and behold the hat is hanged before Prince Theodore Icon which is hanged on his relics. Looking up, the captain said: "May God be glorified, behold this is my hat", he took it and found the 10 dinars intact. He took the money and threw them on the body of Prince Theodore and took 10 other Dinars and presented them before the body of the saint.
The bishop asked for an explanation. The man said: "In my way down to Egypt I passed by this monastery and asked for the intercession of the saints and vowed that if my ship survives the way and the thieves this time that I return safe, I shall pay you 10 dinars. I returned safe and won in my trade. Arriving to the monastery, I got the 10 dinars off and put them in my hat. I landed with the ship and said I would go up to the monastery to pay the vow. At this time, the devil gave me the idea not to do so and keep the money for yourself. At the moment, I decided to sail and behold a knight came up and told me: "give me to drink, Captain". I answered him: "You are on land and I am in water, how come I give you to drink?" He said: "I shall raise my spear unto you" The knight handed me a bottle for the water. I took it and wanted to put the rope of the edge of the spear and behold he put his spear in my hat, took it and flew. I followed him with my eyes and saw him entering the monastery. And here are the dinars that I vowed to him. And here you are witnessing to what I say. Here are the dinars I had vowed. From now on, every year I shall pay 10 dinars to Prince Theodore of Shotep. And here are 10 extra dinars for him. He went out of the monastery praising God and glorifying the Martyr St Theodore the Stratelates. May his intercession be with us all Amen.