Saint Theodore Tyro (also known as Saint Theodore of Amasea and Saint Theodore the Recruit, 286-306), one of the oldest of the eastern martyrs. While little is known about his life, he is included in the Roman martyrology, and greatly venerated in the Eastern Church as one of the three "Soldier Saints," with Saints George and Demetrios.
Theodore was born into a noble family, probably near Alasium, Turkey, and enrolled in the imperial army while still just a boy. Drawn to the Lord at an early age, Theodore had converted, against the wishes of his parents most likely, and was almost immediately confronted with a significant dilemma upon entering the army. Having been assigned into his legion, although still referred to as a “tyro” (or recruit), Theodore marched with the army into Pontus. At that time, the Roman Emperor issued an edict that forcing all Christians to offer sacrifices. Failure to do so meant certain persecution and death. Theodore was thus faced with the choice between apostasy and torture.
”cut up in pieces and offer every limb to the Savior Jesus Christ," who had died for him,” rather than offer sacrifice to a false god. The commander, a relatively gentle man, left Theodore in peace for some time, hoping that would reconsider his decision.
"Fear not, Theodore; I am with thee. Take no more earthly food and drink, for thou shalt be in the other life, eternal and unending, with Me in heaven." Filled with the immense joy of Christ, Saint Theodore began to sing, and was immediately joined by angels in white robes. Together they sang the most beautiful hymns of joy and praise, witnessed by the jailers, guards, and judge who had sentenced him. Rather than be moved, they opted for more cruel torture, giving Theodore an ounce of bread and flask of water each day—just to keep his suffering going a bit longer. He refused, content with his heavenly nourishment.
“As long as I have breath, I will confess the name of Christ.”
As he refused, he was again cruelly beaten, had his flesh ripped with iron hooks, and was burnt with torches. After this cruel torture, the judge told him to think about the shame to which Christ had brought him.
“This shame,” Theodore answered, “I and all who invoke His name take with joy.”
Steadfast in his faith, he was condemned to be burnt alive. Joyously, and ready to be joined with his Maker, Saint Theodore made the Sign of the Cross, and filled with hope and love, climbed into the furnace which would be his coffin. Christian witnesses present at his death reported seeing his soul rise to heaven like “a flash of light and fire.”
O Heavenly King, Saint Theodore was a young soldier in the Roman army when he converted to Christianity. Though he was ordered to fight enemies of the empire, he believed that the devil was the only true enemy. Soon, he was killed for being a Christian, thus winning the battle against the demons who wanted to keep him out of Heaven. I ask him to pray for my fight against evil and temptation and to pray for all my loved ones during their battles. Help us, O victorious Jesus, to turn away from sin and to grow in holiness. Teach us how to always wear the armor of God. Saint Theodore, pray for us. Amen.
Day 313 of 365
Prayer Intentions: For all those persecuted for their faith; for courageous prioritization.
Requested Intentions: Successful employment (J); Successful employment (L); For a healthy child (L); Recovery from stomach illness of a friend (A); Employment and financial security (E); Conversion of sons (L); Freedom from financial stress, employment (C); Spiritual growth and family peace (A); Freedom to immigrate (D); End to debt (N); Restoration of a marriage (J); Complete recovery of son (P); Recovery of parish priest, health of mother, conversion of son (J); Successful employment, end to depression (J); Successful immigration and employment (S); Conversion of an unloving daughter (M); Recovery of husband, health of mother, economic freedom (R); Freedom from depression, restoration of family relationships (N); Restoration of a relationship (J); Healing of friends from cancer (J); Complete healing of a friend with pancreatic cancer (J); Healing of a father following stroke (S).
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."