- Also known as
Grapti (the written upon)
Theodore the Branded
Theodore the Lettered-Upon
- 27 December
- Son of Venerable Jonah the Presbyter.
Brother of Saint Theophanes.
Grew up in Jerusalem as a pious youth, but little is known of his early life.
Monk at Saint Sabas' laura in Jerusalem.
Known for his intelligence and fidelity to their rule.
Strong defender of sacred images during the time of the inconoclasts.
Persecuted for their beliefs by Byzantine iconoclast Emperor Leo V the Armenian beginning c.813.
Sent as the Patriach's emissary to the court in Constantinople to persuade Leo not to interfere in ecclesiastical matters.
Leo had Theodore scourged, then exiled him and Theophanes to a barren island in the Black Sea.
After Leo's death, the brothers returned to the monastery in 820.
They were tortured and banished again in 829 when the iconoclast emperor Theophilus came to power.
Recalled to Constantinople in 831 they were offered the chance to discuss matters with the iconoclasts and change their minds.
They refused, and their tormenters took two days to cut a 12-line iambic verse into their foreheads.
They were then tortured and banished to Apamea, Bithynia.
Theodore died in prison, and is considered a martyr.
- c.775 at Kerak, Moab (Trans-Jordan)
- martyred c.841 at Apamea, Bithynia from the privations of prison life
- Additional Information
For All The Saints, by Katherine Rabenstein
Catholic Encyclopedia, by J P Kirsch
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- These men have appeared at Jerusalem as vessels full of the iniquity of superstitious error, and were driven thence for their crimes.
Having fled to Constantinople, they forsook not their impiety.
Wherefore they have been banished from thence and thus stigmatized on their faces.
- translation of the verse cut into the forehead of Saint Theodore