Saint Theodora the Martyr
The Holy Virgin Martyr Theodora of Vasta grew up in a village where the family would send the sons to fight in the army against the enemy. Having no boys in the family, Theodora decided to join the army to save her father from having to do so. Disguising herself as the soldier Theodore, she soon became one of the most valiant and brave soldiers. A woman soon developed lustful feelings for “Theodore” and claimed that he had impregnated her. Theodora was commanded to either marry the woman or be condemned to death. Doing nothing to prove her innocence (as easy as this would be) Theodora placed her hope in God. Being condemned to death, before her execution, she prayed, “Let my body become a church, my blood a river, and my hair the trees.” On the spot where she was martyred, a spring gushed forth which flooded to become a river which still exists today. The faithful built a small church over her spot of martyrdom where soon 17 enormous trees (some weighing over 1 tonne) began growing on the roof of the church. The 17 trees symbolised her age when she was martyred. Countless scientific studies have taken place to uncover the mystery of 1) how the small church continues to support such enormous trees and 2) how these trees grew and continue to survive with no evidence of any root system reaching the ground. Scientists have taken x-rays of the church walls which show no signs of any root formation anywhere. Saint Theodora continues to perform many miracles to this day for those who approach her with faith.
Απολυτίκιον Της Αγίας Θεοδώρας Βάστας
Ηχος δ΄.Ταχύ προκατάλαβε.
Ως δώρον πολύτιμον, και προσφοράν λογικήν, Χριστω προσενήνοχας τω επί πάντων Θεώ, το αίμα σου πάνσεμνε. Οθεν Οσιομάρτυς, Θεοδώρα δυσώπει, άφεσιν των πταισμάτων, και ψυχών σωτηρίαν, δοθήναι τοις εύφημούσιν, την θείαν σου άθλησιν.
Apolytikion of St. Theodora of Vasta in the Fourth Tone.
As a most-precious gift, and rational offering, was proved to be, to Christ the God over all, your blood O all-pure one. Therefore Righteous Martyr, Theodora entreat for the remission of sins, salvation of souls, grant to those who honor your divine struggles.