August 7, 2010

Saint Theodosios the New and the Healer of Argos

St. Theodosios the New of Argos (Feast Day - August 7)

St. Theodosios the New, the healer, was born in Athens in 862 to pious Christian parents. From an early age he showed fervent faith and was characterized by great love for his fellow men. When he decided to withdraw to the monastic life, he divided his property to those in need and went a short distance outside Athens. But many were those who went to see him and seek his council, which hindered his contemplation. For this reason and to live alone, he fled to Argos in 880.

Cell of St. Theodosios
There he founded a church in the name of St. John the Forerunner after St. John appeared to him, where many went to seek his council. This angered certain priests however, who denounced him to the Archbishop of Argos, St. Peter. St. Theodosios, the patron of Theodosios the New, appeared in a dream of St. Peter, who was at that time in Constantinople in order to see the Ecumenical Patriarch. St. Theodosios asked him to end these conflicts. The Patriarch also asked St. Peter if he had a monk named Theodosios in his region, and after recalling his dream St. Peter was asked by the Patriarch to extend his blessing and reverence to him.

St. Peter went to visit St. Theodosios the New to assess the accusations against him. While he stopped to rest, St. Theodosios, who foresaw that he was coming to visit him, went out ahead to greet St. Peter, offering him burning incense on charcoal which he held in his monastic hat. St. Peter, amazed that St. Theodosios was miraculously not burnt nor was his monastic hat burned, and impressed by his virtue, greeted him with love, and ordained him a deacon and a priest. Eventually a monastery was built around this church and many monks became his disciples.

The fame of St. Theodosios spread throughout the region, and before his death he was granted the gift of foreknowing his death three days before. This allowed him final preparations and gave his final counsels to his spiritual children. St. Theodosios died peacefully in old age around 922 A.D. and St. Peter officiated at his funeral amidst a multitude of clergy and faithful.

His monastery, one of the oldest in Peloponnesos, today has become a famous shrine and his relics work many miracles till this day. Paralytics have been healed, the blind have received their sight, the barren have been granted children, and the sick have had their health restored. His feast day on August 7th is celebrated with great joy in Argos, and he is one of the three great protectors of Argos together with St. Peter mentioned above and St. Anastasios of Nafplio the Neomartyr. Today the Monastery, since 1942, functions as a female convent and as of 2011 has 13 nuns and the abbess. The relics of the Saint were taken by the Latins, but a small portion still resides in the Monastery.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Your clean life, as a God-given gift, you presented to God, and your tomb was showed to be a fount of healings, by abstinence you purified your soul, shining in the world through ascetical pains, therefore O Theodosios, we praise you with hymns.