St Theodore the Sanctified
(Commemorated 16 May)

Saint Theodore came from Egypt and was the son of wealthy Christian parents. At a very young age he displayed a yearning for monastic life. His parents once held a large party at their house during the feast of Theophany, but Theodore did not want to take part in the festivities, grieving that because of earthly joys he might be deprived of joys in the life to come. He secretly left home when he was fourteen and entered one of the monasteries near the modern town of Esna, in Egypt. At this monastery, hearing about Pachomius the Great, he burned with the desire to see the ascetic.

Saint Pachomius received the young man with love, having been informed by God beforehand about his coming. Theodore’s mother, learning that he was at the Tabennisi monastery, came to Saint Pachomius with a letter from the bishop, asking to see her son. Saint Theodore did not wish to break his vow to renounce the world, and so he refused to meet with his mother.

Saint Pachomius once told him to instruct the brethren on Holy Scripture when he was then only twenty years old. Some of the older brethren took offence that a new monk should teach them, and they departed. Saint Pachomius said to them, “you have not rejected Theodore, but rather the Word of God, and have deprived yourselves of the Holy Spirit.”

Saint Pachomius appointed Saint Theodore as overseer of the Tabennisi monastery, and withdrew to a more solitary monastery. Saint Theodore looked after Saint Pachomius in his final illness. After the death of Saint Pachomius, Saint Theodore directed the Tabennisi monastery, and later on he was at the head of all the Thebaid monasteries. Saint Theodore the Sanctified was famed for his holiness of life and a great gift of wonder working, and he was well known to Saint Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria. Saint Theodore reposed in his old age in the year 368.


Source: Lychnos April-May 2020