April 23, 2019

Holy Martyrs Donatos and Therinos

Sts. Donatos and Therinos (Feast Day - April 23)


Therinos was reaped by the sword with Donatos.
Both becoming a strange sheaf of God.

The Holy Martyrs Donatos and Therinos met their end by the sword.

In the synaxaria of the Church, two saints bearing the names of Donatos and Therinos, though they lived over a hundred years apart, are associated with the city of Bothrotos (Buthrotum, Butrint) in Epirus of Albania, and could be the two saints commemorated today. The main problem with this theory, however, is that neither of these saints died as martyrs. Nevertheless, below are brief biographies of both.

Saint Therinos lived during the reign of Emperor Decius (249-251). He was from a province of the land of Thesprotia, in the city of Bothrotos. One day, when the new governor Philip read the imperial decree initiating a persecution of those Christians who refused to sacrifice to the idols, a man named Therinos, possibly a soldier, confronted him and confessed his faith in Christ. For this Therinos suffered many tortures, but due to his being miraculously healed of his wounds, Philip accepted the faith of Christ. Therinos then lived another three and a half years and was buried in the city called Bosrena. Metropolitan Arsenios of Kerkyra wote an encomium to him in the 9th or 10th century. His mosaic in the Rotunda of Saint George in Thessaloniki depicts him as a soldier whose commemoration was in the month of July.

Saint Donatos, whose primary commemoration is celebrated on April 30th, was born in Bothrotos and lived during the reign of the Emperor Theodosius I (347-395). According to the fifth century Greek historian Sozomen, Saint Donatos was Bishop of Evorea, identifiable with Paramythia in Epirus, Greece. He is said to have accomplished several miracles, such as successfully fighting a dragon, purifying well waters, saving the emperors' daughter, and reviving the dead. Saint Donatos reposed in peace in 387 and his remains were transferred to Kassiopi in Kerkyra in 602 in order to be saved from barbarian invasions. However this led to a problem of jurisdiction and custody for the holy relics, which was resolved by Pope Gregory I.