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January 26, 2018

Translation of the Relics of Saint Theodore the Studite in 844

Translation of the Relics of Saint Theodore the Studite (Feast Day - January 26)

Saint Theodore was exiled in 815 for refusing to acquiesce in a revival of Iconoclasm during the reign of Emperor Leo V (813-820). He was freed and recalled to Constantinople in 821 after Michael II (820-829) became emperor, but he was unable to reach an accommodation with the new ruler to call a synod against Iconoclasm. Instead, it seems he voluntarily went again into exile in 823, first to the Monastery of Saint Tryphon near Cape Akritas southeast of the city, and later to Prinkipo in the Princes' Islands. He died there November 11, 826.

It seems that when the last iconoclast Emperor Theophilos (829-842) died, and following the Triumph of Orthodoxy (843), Naukratios, the successor of Theodore, was able to return to Stoudios Monastery. Shortly thereafter, the relics of Theodore and his brother Joseph of Thessaloniki were translated from Prinkipo to Stoudios on January 26, 844, and laid to rest in the same tomb as his uncle and spiritual father, Saint Plato. This was done after Naukratios of Stoudios and Athanasios of Sakkudion received permission from the Ecumenical Patriarch Methodios and Empress Theodora. Upon the arrival of the relics of the Saints to Constantinople, a multitude of monks, clerics and laymen cheered for joy. And after they were carried to Stoudios Monastery, Patriarch Methodios and other dignitaries visited, though the empress was not able to come but did send gifts. The Patriarch himself interred the relics in their tomb. Saint Theodore's body was preserved whole and incorrupt to such a point, that even his skin was observed to not have changed in the eighteen years since his death.