Today our Holy Church commemorates the feast of St. Theodore the Studite. I feel a special closeness to St. Theodore. He was a leading voice that loudly called for the use of icons in the Church. He lived in the latter part of the 8th century and the early part of the 9th. century. This was the time that the Church was torn apart by the controversy concerning the use of Holy Icons. This controversy was divided into two distinct period. The first period was that time prior to the 7th Ecumenical Council (Nicaea II). The great writer in defense of Icons of this time was St. John of Damascus. After the Council, there was a resurgence of iconoclasm lead by the Emperors Constantine V and Leo V. During this time Theodore, the abbott of the Studium Monastery of Constantinople rose up and wrote a wonderful treatise “On the Holy Icons,” which is available in translation for all to appreciate. Additionally, Theodore wrote many hymns used during Great Lent and other feast of the church year. His many letters are also available for us to really get to know this great monastic father. Theodore suffered torture and pain for icons and stood his ground in spite of all the forces against him. He renewed monastic rules and these rules are used by Orthodox monasteries all over the world today. May the strength and faith of St. Theodore guide us and may he always intercede to our Lord on our behalf.
Apolytikion of Theodore the Studite
Plagal of the Fourth Tone
You are a guide of Orthodoxy, a teacher of piety and modesty, a luminary of the world, the God inspired pride of monastics. O wise Theodore, you have enlightened everyone by your teachings. You are the harp of the Spirit. Intercede to Christ our God for the salvation of our souls.
Kontakion of Theodore the Studite
Ascetic in truth and equal to the Angel’s life, thy life was made bright with contests and martyric trials; and the holy Angels’ companion was thou, Theodore, blest of God; now together with them, O Saint, thou ceaselessly prayest Christ in our behalf.