November 09 - Theodore was a Roman soldier and is one of the most famous martyrs of the Eastern Church. He was born in Syria towards the end of the third century. Be careful not to confuse him with the Holy Theodore revered on February 7th, as they are both soldiers and both martyrs.

The Theodore remembered today is a soldier of the Roman legion, stationed in the city of Amasia, where executions were still carried out by way of persecution. Theodore was young and loved Jesus Christ very much. He refused to hide his faith despite persecution, and he even taught in public. At one point, he appeared before the army tribune, testifying to his faith. He was asked, "How dare you preach and teach a religion that is condemned by law to the death penalty?" He replied, "I don't know your idols, I love Christ, the only Son of God. I can give you my body to be broken, to be crushed, to be burned. If my words hurt you, cut out my tongue. But if it is God's will, I am ready to sacrifice my limbs. The tribune and the judges at the time only wanted to intimidate him because Theodore was still very young. But during Theodore's explanation, they were so moved that they let him go free.

But Theodore's dream was to win many souls for Jesus Christ. He encouraged teachers of the faith and urged them to suffer martyrdom for Christ. He even dared to set fire to the temple of the goddess Cybèle. Theodore was forced to apologize and repent for his crime, but he only laughed about it. He was severely beaten and locked up in a dungeon without food so that he starved to death. At night, however, the Saviour came to visit him, promising to feed him invisible food and strengthen him in the final battle. Theodore was so pleased with the visit that he sang praises to God, and an angel in a white robe joined him. The executioners and judges witnessed this miracle, but this sight did not bring them to repentance. He was promised that if he simply seemed to accept, he would be set free. Theodore, however, expressed his refusal with unwavering firmness. His body was shredded with iron and his chest was burned with brazier before being put on the pyre. When he was placed there, he crossed himself and ascended to heaven.

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