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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Relics and Blood-Gushing Icon of St. Theodore the Stratelates

Transfer of the Relics of St. Theodore the Commander (Feast Day - June 8)

The Holy Great Martyr Theodore Stratelates suffered for Christ in Heraklea on February 8, 319. At the time of his sufferings the holy Great Martyr Theodore ordered his servant Varus to bury his body on the estate of his parents in Euchaita. The transfer of the relics of the Great Martyr Theodore took place on June 8, 319.

On this day we also recall a miracle of the icon of the Great Martyr Theodore in a church dedicated to him at a place called Karsat, near Damascus. A group of Saracens had turned this church into their residence. There was a fresco on the wall depicting Theodore. One of the Saracens shot an arrow into the icon of the Great Martyr. From the saint's face, where the arrow had stuck into the wall, blood flowed before the eyes of everyone. A short while later, the Saracens who had settled in the church killed each other. Accounts of this miracle are given by the Anastasius of Mt. Sinai (April 20) and John of Damascus (December 4). St. Anastasius said that he was personally in that church, saw the image of the saint on the wall and traces of congealed blood.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
In truth enlisted with the King of the Heavens, thou didst become for Him a noble commander, O trophy-bearer and Great Martyr Theodore. With the weaponry of faith didst thou arm thyself wisely and didst utterly destroy all the hordes of the demons, as a triumphant athlete of the Lord; wherefore we ever do faithfully call thee blest.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
As Christ the Saviour's mighty athlete and victor, and a provider of the gifts come from Heaven, thou always swiftly helpest with thy prayers to God all those who seek refuge in thy divinely-graced temple and who flee with fervent faith to thy holy protection. Wherefore we cry to thee: Deliver us from every danger, O thrice-blessed Theodore.


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