St. Theodore Tiro
Feast Day: November 9
Born: (around) 280 :: Died: 319
St. Theodore was born of a noble family. He was still young when he
joined the Imperial army.
Soon after he joined, the Emperor announced that all Christians must
offer sacrifice to idols. Even as a new soldier in the Roman army he
chose to die for the faith rather than worship idols, which he knew,
was a sin.
Although he was young, he knew how to keep his soul pure. He was wise
and considered the devil a real enemy. When his troop camped for the
winter in the country of Pontus, all the soldiers took part in services
to the pagan gods. But as a Christian, Theodore knew that these gods
did not exist and refused to join them. He was arrested.
"How dare you profess a religion which the emperor punishes with
death?" demanded the governor. Without hesitation, the young soldier
answered, "I do not know your gods. Jesus Christ, the only Son of God,
is my God. If you take my answer as an offense, cut off my tongue.
Every part of my body is ready to suffer when God calls for this
The pagan judges let Theodore go, believing that he would change his
mind if he was given time to think. Theodore immediately went to the
Temple of Isis and set it on fire.
Then he was arrested and brought before the judge. The judges first
tried to win him with kindness. When that treatment did not work, they
tried to frighten him by describing the tortures he would go through.
But Theodore boldly made the Sign of the Cross and replied, “As long as
I have breath, I will confess the name of Christ.” In the end, they
sent him to be tortured.
When the suffering soldier was led back into prison, some said that
angels came to comfort him. After he had been questioned three times,
he was finally burned to death in the year 306. A Christian who was
standing nearby, saw his soul rise like a flash of light to heaven.
A beautiful church was later built to preserve his ashes and great
crowds of people go there to pray to this martyr.
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