January 11 (old calendar) / January 24 (new)
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January 11 (old calendar) / January 24 (new)

Afterfeast of the Theophany.
Ven. Theodosius the Great, the Cenobiarch (529). Ven. Michael of Klops Monastery, Fool-for-Christ (Novgorod—ca. 1453-56). St. Theodosius of Antioch (ca. 412). Ven. Theodosius, Metropolitan of Trebizond (1392). The “ELETSKAIA” Icon of the Most-holy Theotokos (1060).

SAINT THEODOSIUS

11 janvier

Saint Theodosius the Great lived during the fifth-sixth centuries, and was the founder of cenobitic monasticism. He was born in Cappadocia of pious parents. Endowed with a splendid voice, he zealously toiled at church reading and singing. Saint Theodosius prayed fervently that the Lord would guide him on the way to salvation. In his early years he visited the Holy Land and met with Saint Simeon the Stylite (September 1), who blessed him and predicted future pastoral service for him.

Yearning for the solitary life, Saint Theodosius settled in Palestine into a desolate cave, in which, according to Tradition, the three Magi had spent the night, having come to worship the Savior after His Nativity. He lived there for thirty years in great abstinence and unceasing prayer. People flocked to the ascetic, wishing to live under his guidance. When the cave could no longer hold all the monks, Saint Theodosius prayed that the Lord Himself would indicate a place for the monks. Taking a censer with cold charcoal and incense, the monk started walking into the desert.

At a certain spot the charcoal ignited by itself and the incense smoke began to rise. Here the monk established the first cenobitic monastery, or Lavra (meaning “broad” or “populous”). Soon the Lavra of Saint Theodosius became renowned, and up to 700 monks gathered at it. According to the final testament of Saint Theodosius, the Lavra rendered service to neighbor, giving aid to the poor and providing shelter for wanderers.

Saint Theodosius was extremely compassionate. Once, when there was a famine in Palestine and a multitude of people gathered at the monastery, the monk gave orders to allow everyone into the monastery enclosure. His disciples were annoyed, knowing that the monastery did not have the means to feed all those who had come. But when they went into the bakery, they saw that through the prayers of the abba, it was filled with bread. This miracle was repeated every time Saint Theodosius wanted to help the destitute.

At the monastery, Saint Theodosius built a home for taking in strangers, separate infirmaries for monks and laymen, and also a shelter for the dying. Seeing that people from various lands gathered at the Lavra, the saint arranged for services in the various languages: Greek, Georgian and Armenian. All gathered to receive the Holy Mysteries in the large church, where divine services were chanted in Greek.

During the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius (491-518) there arose the heresy of Eutychius and Severus, which recognized neither the sacraments nor the clergy. The emperor accepted the false teaching, and the Orthodox began to suffer persecution. Saint Theodosius stood firmly in defense of Orthodoxy and wrote a letter to the emperor on behalf of the monks, in which they denounced him and refuted the heresy with the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils. He affirmed moreover, that the desert-dwellers and monks would firmly support the Orthodox teaching. The emperor showed restraint for a short while, but then he renewed his persecution of the Orthodox. The holy Elder then showed great zeal for the truth. Leaving the monastery, he came to Jerusalem and in the church, he stood at the high place and cried out for all to hear: “Whoever does not honor the four Ecumenical Councils, let him be anathema!” For this bold deed the monk was sent to prison, but soon returned after the death of the emperor.

Saint Theodosius accomplished many healings and other miracles during his life, coming to the aid of the needy. Through his prayers he once destroyed the locusts devastating the fields in Palestine. Also by his intercession, soldiers were saved from death, and he also saved those perishing in shipwrecks and those lost in the desert.

Once, the saint gave orders to strike the semandron (a piece of wood hit with a mallet), so that the brethren would gather at prayer. He told them, “The wrath of God draws near the East.” After several days it became known that a strong earthquake had destroyed the city of Antioch at the very hour when the saint had summoned the brethren to prayer.

Before his death, Saint Theodosius summoned to him three beloved bishops and revealed to them that he would soon depart to the Lord. After three days, he died at the age of 105. The saint’s body was buried with reverence in the cave in which he lived at the beginning of his ascetic deeds.

TROPARIA AND KONTAKIA

Troparion of the Theophany, tone 1

When You, O Lord were baptized in the Jordan The worship of the Trinity was made manifest For the voice of the Father bore witness to You And called You His beloved Son. And the Spirit, in the form of a dove, Confirmed the truthfulness of His word. O Christ, our God, You have revealed Yourself And have enlightened the world, glory to You!

Troparion of the saint, tone 8

By a flood of tears you made the desert fertile, and your longing for God brought forth fruits in abundance. By the radiance of miracles you illumined the whole universe! Our Father Theodosius, pray to Christ God to save our souls!

Kontakion of the saint, tone 8

Planted in the courts of your Lord, you blossomed beautifully with virtue, and increased your children in the desert, showering them with streams of your tears, O chief shepherd of the divine flock of God. Therefore, we cry to you: “Rejoice, Father Theodosius.”

Kontakion  of the Theophany, tone 4

Today You have shown forth to the world, O Lord, and the light of Your countenance has been marked on us. Knowing You, we sing Your praises. You have come and revealed Yourself, O unapproachable Light.

Hebrews 10:35-11:7 (Epistle)

35

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.

36

For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:

37

For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.

38

Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”

39

But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

1

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

2

For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

3

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

4

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.

5

By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

6

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

7

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Mark 9:10-16 (Gospel)

10

So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.

11

And they asked Him, saying, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”

12

Then He answered and told them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt?

13

But I say to you that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written of him.

14

And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them.

15

Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him.

16

And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”

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About the Author

Emma Cazabonne

Emma Cazabonne

Emma Cazabonne was born and raised in France. She taught English before entering the Cistercian Order. She translated and published articles relevant to her interest in Cistercian spirituality, the Middle Ages, and Orthodoxy. She moved to the United States in 2001, converted to Orthodoxy in 2008, and married. Her husband is an Orthodox priest. She continued to publish articles, a Cistercian texts anthology, then finally launched her career in literary translation, while teaching French. If you are interested in having your book translated into French, she can be contacted here https://wordsandpeace.com/contact-me/

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