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Venerable Martyr Theodosia, Virgin of the Imperial City

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29 May / 11 June

Venerable Martyr Theodosia lived in the 8th Century. Her birth was the fruit of her parents’ devoted prayers, and after their death, she was raised in the women’s Monastery of Holy Martyr St. Anastasia in Constantinople. After giving away what remained of her inheritance to the poor, St. Theodosia was tonsured a nun at the monastery. She had used part of the money to have icons of the Savior, the Mother of God, and Holy Martyr St. Anastasia written. During his reign, Leo Isaurus (717-741), who cruelly persecuted the iconodules, issued a general edict calling for the destruction of all holy icons. At the time, in Constantinople there was a set of gates known as the “Brass Gates,” atop which for over 400 years there had been a brass icon of the Savior. In the year 730, the iconoclast, false patriarch Anastasios ordered that the Icon be removed. The Orthodox people, led by Venerable Martyr St. Theodosia and other nuns, leapt to the defense of the Icon, and knocked over the ladder, together with the soldiers who were carrying out the pseudopatriarch’s orders. Fearing that the disturbance would spread, pseudopatriarch Anastasios notified the Emperor of what had transpired. By order of the Emperor, all of the nuns were beaten, and the most zealous defender of the icon, Venerable Martyr St. Theodosia, was cast into prison. Every day over the course of one week, they gave her 100 lashes, and on the 8th day took her across the city, viciously beating her along the way. One of the soldiers struck her a fatal blow, and she immediately expired. The Venerable Martyr’s body was left to lie on the ground, but Christians reverently gave it a proper burial in the Diokrites Monastery in Constantinople. Venerable Martyr St. Theodosia’s gravesite has become famous as a place where multitudes of sick people have been healed.

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  • 4001 17th St. N.W.,
  • Washington, D.C., 20011

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