11 Jan Saint Theodosius, Abbott
Today is the feast day of Saint Theodosius. Ora pro nobis.
Saint Theodosius was born in Cappadocia in 423. Theodosius’ parents Proheresius and Eulogia were both very pious.
He desired to visit the Holy Places, and on his way visited Saint Simeon Stylites to ask his counsel. Simeon perceived him amid the crowd and called him by his name: Theodosius, servant of God, you are welcome. His desire to follow Jesus Christ attracted him to the religious life. He placed himself under Longinus, a very holy hermit, who sent him to govern a monastery near Bethlehem.
The holy monk eventually was named by the Bishop of Jerusalem Superior of all the religious communities of Palestine. He and Saint Sabas, who had been appointed by Sallustus, the same bishop, to preside the Palestinian hermits, often consulted together on subjects of piety and edification and the means to procure the glory of God.
Theodosius never refused assistance to any in poverty or affliction; on some days the monks laid more than a hundred tables for those in need. In times of famine Theodosius forbade their alms to be diminished, and often miraculously multiplied the provisions. He built five hospitals, in which he lovingly served the sick, while by assiduous spiritual reading he maintained himself in perfect recollection. He successfully opposed the Eutychian heresy in Jerusalem and all of Palestine, and for this was banished by the emperor Anastasius. His exile lasted but a short time, for the emperor who sustained the heretics died soon afterwards, struck by lightning.
The holy abbot suffered a long and painful illness and refused to pray to be cured, calling it a salutary penance for his former successes. He died at the age of a hundred and six. (1)
Image: Theodosius, Hosios Loukas Monastery, Boeotia, Greece (4)
Research by Ed Masters, REGINA Staff