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Feastday: November 11

759 – 826

Theodore was born at Constantinople in Bithynia. He became a novice at a monastery established by his father on his estate at Saccudium near Constantinople, where he was sent to study by Plato his uncle, who had become abbot of Saccudium.

Theodore was ordained in 787 at Constantinople after which he returned to Saccudium and succeeded Plato as abbot. He and Plato denounced the action of Emperor Constantine VI in leaving his wife and marrying Theodota, because of which he was exiled to Thessalonica.

He encouraged learning in the arts, founded a school of calligraphy, and wrote a rule for the monastery that was adopted in Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia and even on Mount Athos.

When he opposed the appointment of a layman, Nicephorus, to succeed Tarasius, who had died in 806 as patriarch of Constantinople by Emperor Nicephorus I, Theodore was imprisoned by the emperor and later exiled to Princes’ Island with Plato and Archbishop Joseph of Thessalonica, Theodore’s brother..

Theodore returned on the emperor’s death in 811 and was reconciled to Patriarch Nicephorus in a common fight against the iconoclasm of Emperor Leo V the Armenian. When Nicephorus was banished, Theodore became the leader of the Orthodox and was himself banished in 813 to Mysia by Leo.

He endured great hardships the three years he was in prison there and he was transferred to Smyrna and put in the custody of an iconoclast bishop who wanted him beheaded and treated him with great harshness. Released on the murder of Leo in 820, he was again faced with a renewed iconoclasm under Emperor Michael the Stammerer, who refused to restore him as abbot or to restore any of the orthodox bishops to their Sees.

Theodore left Constantinople and visited monasteries in Bithynia, founded a monastery on Akrita for many of his monks who had followed him, and died there on November 11. Many of his letters, treatises, sermons, and hymns are still existent. His feast day is November 11.

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