Friday, July 29, 2016

Holy Martyr Theodoti and her Three Children

St. Theodoti and her Three Children (Feast Day - December 22 & July 29)


For December 22
Theodoti with her dearest are brought to the fire,
Boiling with love for God, even more than the fire.

For July 29
Theodoti was assigned with the name God-giver.
In the fire of the furnace together with her three beloved children.

The Martyr of Christ Theodoti was from Nicaea in Bithynia, and lived during the reign of Emperor Diocletian (284-304). She was raised a Christian and from a young age kept the commandments of the Lord. This she also instilled in her three children, despite being a young widow, educating them in the knowledge of God and the admonition of the Lord. When Theodoti came to learn of the good works of Saint Anastasia the Pharmakolytria (Dec. 22), she went with her three children to live with her.

Theodoti had been asked by the dignitary Leukadios to marry him. This was arranged by Emperor Diocletian, who thought that this marital arrangement would sway her from her Christian faith. However, she refused marriage with him, while he tried by every means to persuade her. Finding herself in the home of Leukadios with her children, Theodoti kept herself in purity, yielding neither to inducements nor charms, nor threats by the pagan. The Saint in turn persuaded him to wait a little while to think it over, then to do as he wished, thereby managing to rescue herself.

Meanwhile the dignitary, while waiting for the right time, would go out with the emperor, and Theodoti during this time would leave and join Anastasia in visiting the Christians in prison, who were there for confessing their faith in Christ. There she became a source of strength and consolation for them, helping them to endure being tortured for Christ.

After a few days had passed, Leukadios once again approached Theodoti to marry him. But when he found out that she was visiting the Christians in the prison during this time, he had her and her three children bound and sent to the governor of Bithynia, the consular Niketas. At the interrogation, when he began to threaten Theodoti with torture, her eldest son Evodos said that Christians do not fear tortures, but rather fear being forsaken by God. They cruelly beat the boy before the eyes of his mother, so that his blood began to flow. Theodoti prayed that the Lord would strengthen her son in his sufferings, and rejoiced in that he was being given a martyr’s death for the sake of truth.

After this Theodoti was given over to be defiled, but the Lord preserved her. An Angel of the Lord held back everyone who tried to approach the Saint. Imputing this miracle to sorcery, the judge sentenced the Saint and her children to death by fire. With such a martyric end the blessed ones were perfected, and now stand before Christ, wearing unfading crowns.

The memory of the Holy Martyrs Theodoti, the child Evodos and her other two small sons are celebrated on December 22, together with the memory of Saint Anastasia the Pharmakolytria, and July 29.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
O godly-minded Theodoti, thou didst offer thy holy children to God as choice gifts. Together with them thou didst nobly contend and struggle. Intercede with Christ our God for us, that He grant us all forgiveness and correction of life.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Today holy Theodoti rejoices as a mother over her children, and we praise her noble contest. We magnify Christ our God Who has given her a crown of victory.

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