November 11, 2016

Synaxarion of Saint Theodore the Studite

On the eleventh of this month [November], we commemorate our Venerable Father Theodore the Abbot of Studios and Confessor.


Like the change of many garments, thrice-blessed Theodore,
Your life changed, in expectation of life.

Theodore was born during the reign of Constantine Copronymos (741-775), from pious parents called Photeinos and Theoktiste. As a child he preferred the virtuous life, and having been sufficiently educated in sacred letters, he was elevated to the uttermost heights of knowledge. For this reason he became a Monk, attaining every form of virtue, and he was honored with the grace of the priesthood from Patriarch Tarasios of Constantinople. Since Venerable Platon, who was the Abbot of Stoudios Monastery and the uncle of the Saint, left the abbacy, it was given over to blessed Theodore. Thus he guided well the flock of Monks entrusted to him, and he shepherded them to the pastures of salvation.

Because he and Saint Tarasios boldly rebuked Emperor Constantine (776–797), the son of Irene, for rejecting his lawful wife and taking another, Saint Tarasios was removed from his throne, and the great Theodore was flogged and exiled to Thessaloniki. Later, since Constantine became blind, and was removed from being the ruler, the Saint was called back from exile. But when Nikephoros the Patrician (802-811) and Staurakios (811) became emperors, the Saint was again exiled to Thessaloniki.

When Leo the Armenian (813-820) ruled, and sought to abolish the holy icons, the blessed Theodore was exiled to Lake Apollonia, and from there was sent to the Anatolic theme. There he was ordered to be whipped a hundred times on the back, which he bravely endured. The military commander then had him cruelly flogged again. From there he was sent to Smyrna, and shut inside a most foul prison, with his feet placed in punishing stocks. When Leo became deprived of his life and kingdom, Michael the Stammerer (820–829) received the scepter of the kingdom, and had the Saint recalled from his bonds and exile, and having been liberated shortly thereafter, he was reacquainted with his friends. Later, with good and fulfilled hopes, he reposed in the Lord.

He can be described as being physically very dry, with a yellow face, and black and white hair, though balding.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
As partaker of incorruptible gifts thou wast thyself the Church's gift, O Theodore, for in following sacred doctrines thou wast a light of true profession. Pray to Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Thy life was radiant with thine ascetical struggles, O Theodore blessed of God, and thou didst become a companion of the Angels. Together with them intercede with Christ our God that He may save us all.