Commemorated on May 29th
St Theodosia the Virgin-martyr of Tyre, and Virgin-martyr Theodosia of Constantinople
The holy Virgin-martyr Theodosia was born in Tyre of Phoenicia. At the age of eighteen she was seized in Caesarea of Palestine during a persecution and was brought before Urban the ruler. Because she refused to offer sacrifice to the idols, her sides and breasts were mercilessly scraped even to the inward parts and bones. She endured this in silence with astonishing courage. When Urban again asked her to sacrifice, she mocked him, and after being tormented even more horribly than before, she was cast into the sea in the year 308 AD.
The Virgin Martyr Theodosia of Constantinople lived during the eighth century. She was born in answer to the fervent prayers of her parents. After their death, she was raised at the women's monastery of the holy Martyr Anastasia in Constantinople. St Theodosia became a nun after she distributed to the poor of what remained of her parental inheritance. She used part of the money to commission gold and silver icons of the Saviour, the Theotokos, and St Anastasia.
When Leo the Isaurian (717-741 AD) ascended the imperial throne, he issued an edict to destroy holy icons everywhere. Above the Bronze Gates at Constantinople was a bronze icon of the Saviour, which had been there for more than 400 years. In 730 AD, the iconoclast Patriarch Anastasius ordered the icon removed.
The Virgin Martyr Theodosia and other women rushed to protect the icon and toppled the ladder with the soldier who was carrying out the command. Then they stoned the impious Patriarch Anastasius, and Emperor Leo ordered soldiers to behead the women. St. Theodosia, an ardent defender of icons, was locked up in prison. For a week they gave her a hundred lashes each day. On the eighth day, they led her about the city, fiercely beating her along the way. One of the soldiers stabbed the nun in the throat with a ram's horn, and she received the crown of martyrdom.
The body of the holy virgin martyr was reverently buried by Christians in the monastery of St. Euphemia in Constantinople, near a place called Dexiokratis. The tomb of St. Theodosia was glorified by numerous healings of the sick.
Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)
O Lord Jesus, to You Your lamb cries with a great voice, "O my Bridegroom, You I love; and seeking You, I now contest, and with Your baptism am crucified and buried. I suffer for Your sake, that I may reign with You; for Your sake I die, that I may live in You: accept me offered out of longing to You as a spotless sacrifice". Lord, save our souls through her intercessions, since You are great in mercy.
Kontakion (Second Tone)
Through labours you have inherited life free of pain; with streams of your blood, O all-praised maiden, you drowned the vile lion, who is the most abhorrent enemy of Christ's Church. As you now rejoice with Christ, unceasingly pray on behalf of our soul's.