a priest's musings on the journey

Monday, May 28, 2007

Feasts in the East for 29 May

Since ancient times the church has commemorated the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea in 325 on this day. The council, attended by St Nicholas of Myra, St Athanasius, St Eusebius, and over 300 other bishops, was convened to eliminate the confusion brought about by the teachings of Arius. Arius taught that Jesus was not the pre-eternal Son of God, nor was he equal in being to God the Father. Arius' teachings were condemned as heresy, and the Nicene Creed was confirmed as the Symbol of faith. The council also set the date for Easter. It is said, that Jolly ole St Nicholas decked both Arius and another Arian bishop at the council. Wow- where is that in the christmas story ;)

The East also remembers the martyr Theodosia on this day. Theodosia was a nun who lived in a convent in Constantinople. In the mid-8th century, the Emperor ordered
that all icons be destroyed. There was one icon of Christ that was especially dear to Theodosia, that was on the wall in the convent. She was so attached to this icon, that when the soldier who had been sent by the Emperor to smash the icon climbed a ladder to remove it from the door of the convent where it was placed, she shook the ladder so violently that the soldier fell to his death. Theodosia was so upset with the iconolasts, that she led a group of women to the palace of the heretic patriarch of Constantinople, where they stoned his palace in protest. The women were arrested and punished for thier actions. Theodosia, however, was tortured and killed for having led the rebellion.

Now, this is a saint I'd love to have my back when I'm being attacked. This is a woman I can pray to- pacifist inclinations set aside ;)

An even stronger Lebanese woman, by the same name, is also remembered today in the East. Theodosia of Tyre was arrested in 308 at the age of 18 for being a Christian and taken to Urban to be tried. He asked her to offer sacrifices to the Roman deities, but she refused. Because she refused her breasts and sides were scraped to the bone- and she stood silently and courageously, enduring the pain without even a grimace. She was asked to offer sacrifices again. This time she mocked Urban in her refusal. She was tormented further, and cast into the sea.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Through labours hast thou inherited life free of pain; with streams of thy blood, O all-praised maiden, thou didst drown the vile lion, who is the most abhorrent enemy of Christ's Church. As thou now rejoicest with Christ, unceasingly pray thou in our soul's behalf.

The icon of Theodosia of Constanitnople is from the Monastary of St Catherine, Sinai, Egypt- 13th century

The icon of Theodosia of Tyre was written by Siippi Sister
:: posted by Padre Rob+, 10:35 PM


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