April 5, 2018

Synaxarion of our Venerable Mother Theodora of Thessaloniki

St. Theodora of Thessaloniki (Feast Day - April 5)


Thessaloniki is inhabited by a myriad of good things,
And Theodora brings the wealth of keeping it safe from violence.

The Venerable Theodora, because she loved Christ from a young age, denied the world and all worldly things, and went to a coenobium, where she became a nun. There she struggled, and attained all the virtues. The blessed one offered such obedience and honor to all the sisters, as well as to the leading abbess, that after her death it appeared as if she was alive. Having kept her life pure and spotless, she left herself to the rest of the sisters of the monastery as a living monument, and an animated example of virtue.

Soon after, Theodora having died, the abbess also died, who also lived a pure and spiritual life. For this reason there was much tumult from the people at her burial, and there were notable rulers. When a crowd of monastics and distinguished men gathered, the grave was opened in which were the relics of the Venerable Theodora for many years, in order for the relic of the abbess to be placed therein. This is when an extraordinary miracle took place, which brought astonishment to all who saw it, and moved those who heard about it.

The place where the grave of the Saint was located, was high and suitable for viewing by all who stood there. Thus when the time came to place the relic of the abbess in the grave, then - O the miracle! - all who stood there saw, that Theodora who had long been dead, as if she was alive, tightened up and squeezed herself to one side of the grave, giving space for her spiritual mother to be buried. When all those gathered there saw this extraordinary miracle, with one voice they cried out: "Lord have mercy!" From then until today God has worked many signs by this Venerable Theodora. The demon possessed have been liberated, the blind have received their sight, and innumerable sick have been made well.*


* This Saint Theodora should not be confused with the Saint Theodora the Wonderworker and Myrrhgusher who is celebrated on August 3 and 29, despite certain similarities, such as their wonderworking graves being located in Thessaloniki.