April 20, 2016

Saint Theodore the Trichinas ("Hair-Shirt Wearer")

St. Theodore Trichinas (Feast Day - April 20)


You have died, having weaved a garment of hair Father,
The founder of those dressed in leaves.
On the twentieth, Theodore, your bones went without your courageous spirit.

Our Venerable Father Theodore was born in Constantinople in the fourth century, the son of wealthy and pious parents. From childhood he was inclined toward monasticism, so he left his home, family, and former life in order to enter a monastery in Thrace, later known as the Monastery of Trichinas after him. There he began his arduous ascetic struggles. In the winter he exposed himself to the cold and in the summer he exposed himself to the heat. He dressed in a hair-shirt, from which he derived the name “Trichinas” ("Hair-Shirt Wearer”). He even slept on a stone in order avoid bodily comfort, and to prevent himself from sleeping too much.

By these means he defeated the machinations of the demons, and in turn became a recipient of heavenly grace. His life was thus adorned with miracles, and he had the power to heal the sick. He would also gather money from the rich, which he distributed to those in need with great discernment. After his repose in the late fourth or early fifth century, a healing fragrant myrrh flowed from his relics, and those who anointed themselves with it with faith and piety received healing from all illnesses of the soul and body.

The Chapel of Saint Theodore Trichinas in Rethymno, Crete

A Chapel dedicated to Saint Theodore Trichinas is located between the ramparts of Agios Nikolaos and Agios Pavlos within the Venetian citadel of Fortezza. It was inaugurated in 1899 by the Russian commander of the occupation forces of Rethymno, but the building was possibly the result of repairs to an older, pre-existing Venetian church.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
Temple of abstinence and vessel of dispassion, who didst serve God by thy works and wast found worthy of His gifts: Holy Father Theodore, pray to Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
O God-bearing Theodore, treasury of virtues, storehouse of graces and adornment of monks: pray that our sins may be forgiven and for our salvation, for thou art the protector of the faithful.