Commemorated on April 21
The Holy Martyrs
Theodore, his mother Philippia, Dioskoros, Sokrates and Dionysios suffered
during the reign of the emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161) in Pamphylian Pergium.
When they were conscripting for military service robust and healthy young men,
then together with the others they led the youth Theodore to the military
commander obliged the youth to offer sacrifice to idols. The martyr submitted
neither to persuasion nor threats, and the military commander commanded to
place him on a red-hot plate and to pour out liquid tar. Immediately there
occurred a miracle: an earth-trembling began, and from a fissure in the ground
gushed forth a torrent of water and extinguished the fire.
unharmed, the martyr Theodore gave praise to God and suggested to the military
commander to try with the help of the idols to repeat such a miracle.
commander suggested to the pagan priest Dioskoros to lay upon the red-hot
plate, calling on the help of Zeus. But Saint Dioskoros answered, that he
believed in Christ and was prepared to throw the idol of Zeus into the fire.
Then the military commander commanded him to get on the frying-pan. The martyr
Dioskoros fell at the knees of Saint Theodore and pleaded that he pray for him.
Then he got onto the frying-pan, loudly crying out to the Lord: "I give
Thee thanks, Lord Jesus Christ, that Thou hast included me in the number of
Thine servants. Accept Thou my soul with peace", – and he died, having
been delivered from terrible torment.
They continued to
torture Saint Theodore. They tied him to wild horses, which began to run. But
at the city walls the horses fell down and collapsed, and the martyr Theodore
remained unharmed. Two soldiers, Sokrates and Dionysios, saw how there came
down from the heavens a fiery chariot to Saint Theodore, on which was carried
the dragged martyr. The soldiers with astonishment shouted out: "Great God
of the Christians!" For this they seized hold of them and on the next day
threw them together with the martyr Theodore into a red-hot furnace. But an
Heavenly dew cooled the furnace, and the saints remained alive. In the morning
the military commander commanded soldiers to go march to look upon the burnt
bodies of the martyrs. The soldiers returned and with wonder reported that the
three youths were unharmed, and to the martyr Theodore was come his mother,
Philippia, who now encouraged the martyrs in their act.
commander suggested to Saint Philippia to save her son, urging her to offer
sacrifice to the idols. But Saint Philippia answered, that yet while at the
time of the birth of her son it was revealed to her, that her son would be
crucified for Christ. Hearing this, the military commander commanded to crucify
Saint Theodore on a cross, and to cut off the heads of the remaining martyrs.
During the course of 3 days the martyr Theodore hung on the cross, offering up
prayer to God until he expired.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.