January 13, 2020

Massacre of the Venerable Martyrs of the Monastery of Saint Theodosios the Cenobiarch in 614 A.D.

Venerable Martyrs of Saint Theodosios Monastery (Feast Day - January 13)

The Holy Monastery of Saint Theodosios the Cenobiarch is located east of Bethlehem at the beginning of the desert, on the ancient main road that leads to the desert of the River Jordan and the Dead Sea. It was established by Saint Theodosios in the fifth century.

In the year 614 Persians under King Chosroes II invaded the Holy Land and caused unspeakable damage to Jerusalem and its surroundings. They massacred the faithful, destroyed churches and monasteries, and killed priests and monastics. The then flourishing Monasteries of Saint Theodosios the Cenobiarch, Saint Savvas the Sanctified, Saint George the Chozebite, Saint Gerasimos of Jordan and many others were brought to ruin.

When the unbelievers raged against the Holy Fathers of the Monastery of Saint Theodosios the Cenobiarch, they were all slaughtered ruthlessly, while they quietly glorified Christ their Savior. They received the double crown of martyrdom by blood and a pure ascetic life. Because none of them renounced their faith, they were beheaded, ripped apart, nailed and broken. After the monastery was looted, it was set on fire.

When the Persian unbelievers left, ascetics and hermits from nearby caves went to the monastery and buried the bodies of the Holy Fathers in the chambers of the Cave of the Magi, located in the center of the monastery. In recent times these sacred relics were discovered and bore the mark of holiness by their beautiful fragrance. They were then translated to the katholikon of the monastery to be venerated by the faithful.

Apolytikion in Plagal of the First Tone
Let us celebrate with songs those slain by bloodthirsty hands, the revered Fathers of the Monastery of Venerable Theodosios, who were killed by unbelievers, ascetics reverently cry out to the river of their blood: Slaughtered Fathers, bless us with your divine favor and strengthen us.

Kontakion in Plagal of the Fourth Tone
We praise those who were harshly slaughtered, by the hands of unbelievers like pure sacrifices, in the Monastery of Theodosios the Cenobiarch, ascetics who are known as Venerable Martyrs, and most fragrant daisies of the desert, with longing we cry out: Rejoice, blessed Beehive.

Those slaughtered without mercy, by the swords of those of another religion, we ask your prayers, Venerable Martyrs, of the Monastery of Venerable Theodosios, commending your contest.