Augustine Sokolovski

The name "Theodore" in Greek means "Gift of God". Orthodox Christianity has always perceived both life itself and faith in the Lord as a great inscrutable gift. Therefore, it is not at all accidental that the number of saints bearing this name in the Orthodox calendar is very large.

Perhaps the most famous and revered of Saints Theodores today are the Martyrs Theodore Stratelates (281-319) and Theodore Tyro (+306), abbot and confessor of the fight against iconoclasm in Constantinople Theodore the Studite (759-826), and, in the Russian Church, recently glorified in the saints, the righteous Theodore Ushakov (1745-1817). The latter was a great military commander in his profession, but he was canonized for his personal orthodoxy and piety. Therefore, in accordance with the Orthodox tradition, in the liturgical calendar he is called righteous.

Among the great saints of Christian antiquity, now forgotten, but formerly highly revered, is Theodore Sykeote. He was born in the middle of the 6th century and passed away to the Lord in 613. His ministry was mainly held in the historical region of Galatia, in the center of Asia Minor, in the vicinity of modern Ankara. The name "Sykeote" comes from the name of the village of the same name, in which Theodore was born.

Theodore was an ascetic, monk, founder of monasteries, prophet, and miracle worker. Very extensive in content and rich in details, full of signs and symbols, the vita of Theodore was written by one of his closest followers. In the vita, Theodore appears with all the power of his grace-filled calling, as a righteous person like the biblical prophets, a helper to ordinary people and a mentor to emperors. The saint healed the sick and had power over animals and nature. In each of his callings, Theodore was so full-fledged that, upon careful acquaintance with his biography, it may seem that we are dealing with different and at the same time great saints.

At the same time, during his long life at that time, the saint was a lonely wandering ascetic, even when, by the predestination of God, he had to be abbot of a monastery and even a bishop.

So, according to the name of his episcopal see, the saint is also called Theodore of Anastasioupolis. At the end of his life, Theodore left the diocese and ended his days in asceticism. This decision did not come easily to him. In addition to internal doubts, it took the permission of the patriarch and the consent of the emperor.

Throughout his life, Theodore venerated the Holy Great Martyr George in a special way. From a young age, he was under the special protection of the Great Martyr, was saved by him from a serious illness, in difficult moments of his life received instructions from him, saw in visions.

The saint was a contemporary of great events. Once, during a religious procession in Constantinople, crosses were visibly lopsided. Saint Theodore saw in this a mournful omen. Soon there was an invasion of the Persians, then the Arab conquests began. Theodore lived at the same time as the Muslim prophet Muhammad.

The saint reposed in the Lord on May 5, on the very eve of the celebration of the memory of George. Theodore lived his life according to the Gift of God. The day of his death was like a blessing of the great saint, whom he himself especially revered and loved. The ability to remain in the service of others, and to leave office, to refuse a truly great and glorious service for the sake of the spiritual good - was the unique feature of the saint. Life is given to learn to say goodbye. The memory of Saint Theodore is a prophetic reminder of this.

Однажды во время крестного хода в Константинополе зримым образом покосились кресты. Святой Феодор увидел в этом скорбное предзнаменование. Вскоре произошло нашествие персов, затем начались арабские завоевания. Феодор был современником мусульманского пророка Мухаммеда.

В течение своей долгой по тем временам жизни святой был одиноким аскетом, странствующим подвижником, игуменом монастыря и даже епископом. По названию своей епископской кафедры святой также именуется Феодором Анастасиупольским. В конце жизни Феодор оставил кафедру и завершил дни в аскезе. Это решение не далось ему легко. Помимо внутренних сомнений, понадобилось позволение патриарха и согласие царя.

Всю свою жизнь Феодор особенным образом почитал святого Великомученика Георгия. С юных лет он находился под особенным покровом Великомученика, был спасен им от тяжкого недуга, удостаивался его молитвенных посещений, в сложные моменты жизни получал от него наставления, видел в видениях.

Феодор отошел ко Господу 5 мая в самый канун празднования памяти Георгия. Феодор – жизнь, прожитая по Дару Бога, как подлинное, по имени, житие. Пример как должно почитать и призывать святых. Спонтанно, по дару свыше, просить ходатайства их, живущих пред Богом, зная, в свете библейской веры, что мы, живущие здесь на земле, еще не родились.