Science of the Saints, 15-III-2019 (2 Mar.), The Holy Martyr Theodotus, Bishop of Cyrene

The Hieromartyr Theodotus, a native of Galatia in Asia Minor, was bishop of the city of Cyrene in Cyprus.

During a time of persecution against Christians under the impious emperor Licinius (307-324), Saint Theodotus openly preached Christ, calling on the pagans to abandon idol worship and turn to the True God. The governor of Cyprus Sabinus gave orders to arrest and bring bishop Theodotus to trial. Having found out about this order, the saint did not wait for the soldiers sent after him, but instead immediately went to the governor with the words: “I am here, whom thou seekest; I have shown myself, so as to preach Christ my God.”

The governor gave orders for the saint to be beaten without mercy, hung up upon a tree and be dealt with by sharp implements, and then be taken to prison. After five days Saint Theodotus was again brought to the governor, who presumed that the bishop would prefer after his tortures to renounce Christ, rather than endure new sufferings. But Saint Theodotus did not cease to preach about Christ. At first they put the saint on an iron grate, under which they set a bonfire, and then hammered nails into his feet and let him go. Many witnessed the sufferings of the martyr: astonished at the endurance of the saint and his divinely inspired speaking, they came to believe in Christ. Learning of this, Sabinus gave orders to stop the torture and lock up the saint in prison.

During the time of Saint Constantine the Great, the freedom to confess their faith was given to all Christians, and among the sufferers set free from prison was also Saint Theodotus. The saint returned to Cyrene and after two years serving as bishop he peacefully expired to the Lord in about the year 326.

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