Commemorated on January 26th
On the 26th of January, we remember the Translation of the Relics of our Holy Father Theodore the “Studite” (a name derived from the Monastery of Studium) and his brother, Joseph of Thessalonica.
St. Theodore was born in AD 759 to an aristocratic family in Constantinople. Theodore’s maternal uncle, Plato, was a monk who also became a Saint. Plato was an inspiration for Theodore and all his family. The family gave up their comfortable life in the world and dedicated themselves to Christ. Theodore became a monk at the Symbola monastery in Bithynia, and soon became abbot, practicing the communal coenobitic tradition. He later revived the Monastery of Studium in Constantinople and became its abbot. With great faith, wisdom and perseverance, Theodore and Joseph supported the reverence of holy icons during the iconoclast turmoil. Theodore was exiled for his sermons and letter-writing which condemned the iconoclast belief as well as the actions of Emperor Nicephorus, who appointed a layman as patriarch and reinstated priests who had been defrocked. In exile, later in prison and through many tortures, Theodore’s influence continued to reverberate through the Empire with his efforts to defend the Faith in regular letters, writings in support of icons (“On the Holy Icons”) and unceasing prayer. After enduring cruel conditions of imprisonment in Smyrna, amongst other places, Theodore contracted a stomach infection that led to his death, which is celebrated on the 11th of November. In addition to his other sacred writings, he composed, with the collaboration of his brother Joseph, almost the whole of the compunction book of the Triodion. Eighteen years after his death in AD 826, on the 26th of January, Theodore’s incorrupt body was translated from Prinkipos Island to the Monastery of Studium, where he was laid in the same tomb as his uncle and spiritual father, Saint Plato, as well as his brother.
Source: December-January 2014 Lychnos Edition