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Saint of the Day

St. Theodosius the Cenobiarch

January 11
Born: 423, Cappadocia (modern Turkey)
Died: 529.
Formed a small community of monks near Bethlehem, which later became the Monastery of St. Theodosius. He died near Jerusalem at about 105 years old.

Born to a pious family, he began his studies at an early age, and became a lector while still a youth. The example of Abraham led him to leave home in order to properly follow God. He met Saint Simeon Stylites in Antioch; Simeon recognized him as a holy man and leader, and invited Theodosius onto his pillar for prayer, blessing, and advice. Travelled to Jerusalem where legend says worked with Saint Longinus the Centurian, who would have been nearly 500 years old at the time. Head of a church near Bethlehem.

Hermit in the desert of Judah, living in a cave. Word of his holiness began to attract disciples, and Theodosius built a monastery at Cathismus to house them. There were so many there had to be a section for Greeks, for Armenians, for Persions, etc., but they all happily worked and prayed together. Next to the monastery he built a hospital for the sick, a hospice for the aged, and a mental hospital. Friend of and co-worker with Saint Sabbas. Appointed visitor to all cenobitical communities of Palestine the patriarch of Jerusalem.

Opposed heresies, including Eutychianism and Monophysitism. Emperor Anastatius, a supporter of Eutychianism, sent Theodosius a large bribe, hoping to sway the influential monk to his thinking; Theodosius distributed the money to the poor, and continued to preach against heresy. Because of his orthodox views, Anastatius removed him from his position in 513, but he soon resumed his duties under emperor Justinian.

In poor health in his old age, he was stricken with a condition that made his skin dry as stone. He continued to work until his health gave out, and then he spent his time praying for his community. He died at age 105.

With the rivers of your tears, you have made the barren desert fertile. Through sighs of sorrow from deep within you, your labors have borne fruit a hundred-fold. By your miracles you have become a light, shining upon the world. O Theodosius, pray to Christ our God, to save our souls.

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