December 3, 2016

Holy Hieromartyr Theodore, Patriarch of Alexandria (+ 609)

St. Theodore of Alexandria (Feast Day - December 3)


Theodore is great among the Patriarchs,
And great among the athletes by the sword.

The Chronicon Paschale says that in the year 609, the Patriarch of Alexandria "was slain by his enemies." This is Patriarch Theodore I, who had come to the throne in 607. The historical records are silent as to who these enemies were, but it was during the revolt of Nicetas, and assumed to have been the Monophysites of Egypt.

However, according to the Synaxarion of Constantinople and the Menologion of Basil II, it alludes to these enemies being pagan unbelievers, who killed Patriarch Theodore for proclaiming Christ as God to the unbelievers and converting many. For this reason he was cruelly tortured, then crowned with a crown of thorns and mocked, then thrown into the sea from which he emerged unharmed, and finally was beheaded at the order of the governor. His tomb was in Alexandria.

Following the death of Patriarch Theodore, the throne of Alexandria remained vacant until 611, when Saint John the Merciful came to occupy the throne.