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January 30, 2016

Saint Theophilos the New

St. Theophilos the New (Feast Day - January 30)


The beloved head of Theophilos is honored,
Being unwilling to love the gods of the barbarians.

Saint Theophilos was born and raised in Constantinople during the reign of the Orthodox rulers, Emperor Constantine VI and Empress-regent Irene (780-802). He held the rank of military governor in the Kibyrrhaiotai theme. At that time the Romans launched a naval campaign against the Saracens, or rather the Hagarenes. He embarked on this campaign with two subordinate admirals, but they were envious of him. When the hostilities began, he attacked the Saracens with his forces, followed by his two admirals. Employing diverse military tactics and war engines, he overpowered the enemy. The victory was only short lasting, however, since the two envious admirals took the opportunity of delivering Theophilos over to the enemy by withdrawing from the fight.

Since the Saracens had a larger fleet, they surrounded Theophilos, won the advantage, and captured him alive. They then brought him to their country and confined him to prison for four years. Then they removed him from his cell as they were sacrificing to their gods, and they insisted that he also offer a sacrifice and deny Christ. Because the Martyr of Christ would not be persuaded by their flatteries nor by their threats, they beheaded him, and the blessed one received the unfading crown of martyrdom.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
Your love for the Master, you signed with your blood, and you suffocated the delusion, holy one, of those of the crescent, brave minded one, proclaiming the divinity of Christ, wherefore you seized, all-blessed Theophilos, the crown of martyrdom for your Lord.

Kontakion in the First Tone
Sailing your vessel, through the noetic sea, you found rest, in the harbor of heaven, glorious Theophilos, on your ship sealed by Christ, holding in derision the delusion of Hagar, you confessed, the faith of the Master, ornament of the Martyrs.