The Great Martyr Theodore the Tyro
Saint Theodore, who was from Amasia of Pontus, contested during the reign of Maximian (286-305 AD). He was called Tyro, from the Latin Tyro, because he was a newly enlisted recruit in the army. When it was reported that he was a Christian, he boldly confessed Christ; the ruler, hoping that he would repent, together with other Christians, was required to renounce Christ and to offer sacrifice to idols. He was given time to consider the matter more completely and then give answer. Theodore gave answer by setting fire to the temple of Cybele, the “mother of the gods”, and for this, he suffered a martyr’s death by fire. His body was buried in the city of Euchaita (in Asia Minor). Later, his relics were translated to Constantinople, to the church named after him; his head is located in Gaeta, Italy.
About 50 years after the death of Saint Theodore, the Emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363 AD), desiring to defile the Christian Great Lent, ordered the city governor of Constantinople to sprinkle secretly the provisions sold in the markets with blood from sacrifices to idols each day throughout the first week of the Fast. Saint Theodore appeared in a night vision to Eudoxius, the Archbishop of Constantinople, and ordered him to announce to the Christians that they should not buy the defiled provisions in the markets, but should use boiled wheat with honey as food. In commemoration of this event, the Orthodox Church to this day celebrates the memory of the Great-martyr Theodore the Tyro annually on the first Saturday of Great Lent.
Dismissal Hymn of the Martyr (Second Tone)
Great are the achievements of faith! In the fountain of flame, as by the water of rest, the holy Martyr Theodore rejoiced; for having been made a whole-burnt offering in the fire, he was offered as sweet bread unto the Trinity. By his prayers, O Christ God, save our souls.
Kontakion of the Martyr (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)
Having received the Faith of Christ in your heart as a breastplate, you trampled upon the enemy hosts, O much-suffering champion; and you have been crowned eternally with a heavenly crown, since you are invincible.
St. Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy 2:1-10
Prokeimenon. Grave Mode.
The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord.
Verse: Oh God, hear my cry.
TIMOTHY, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hardworking farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will grant you understanding in everything.
Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David, as preached in my gospel, the gospel for which I am suffering and wearing fetters like a criminal. But the word of God is not fettered. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory.
The Gospel according to Luke 20:46-47; 21:1-4
The Lord said to his disciples, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go about in long robes, and love salutations in the market places and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury; and he saw a poor widow put in two copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all the living that she had.” Having said this, he proclaimed, “He who has ears let him hear.”