Commemorated on February 17th
Holy Great Martyr Theodore the Tyro
St Theodore, who was from Amasia of Pontus, contested during the reign of Maximian (286-305 AD). He was called Tyro, from the Latin Tyro, because he was a newly enlisted recruit in the army. When it was reported that he was a Christian, he boldly confessed Christ; the ruler, hoping that he would repent, together with other Christians, was required to renounce Christ and to offer sacrifice to idols. He was given time to consider the matter more completely and then give answer. Theodore gave answer by setting fire to the temple of Cybele, the "mother of the gods", and for this, he suffered a martyr's death by fire. His body was buried in the city of Euchaita (in Asia Minor). Later, his relics were translated to Constantinople, to the church named after him; his head is located in Gaeta, Italy.
About 50 years after the death of St Theodore, the Emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363 AD), desiring to defile the Christian Great Lent, ordered the city governor of Constantinople to sprinkle secretly the provisions sold in the markets with blood from sacrifices to idols each day throughout the first week of the Fast. St Theodore appeared in a night vision to Eudoxius, the Archbishop of Constantinople, and ordered him to announce to the Christians that they should not buy the defiled provisions in the markets, but should use boiled wheat with honey as food. In commemoration of this event, the Orthodox Church to this day celebrates the memory of the Great-martyr Theodore the Tyro annually on the first Saturday of Great Lent.
Dismissal Hymn of the Martyr (Second Tone)
Great are the achievements of faith! In the fountain of flame, as by the water of rest, the holy Martyr Theodore rejoiced; for having been made a whole-burnt offering in the fire, he was offered as sweet bread unto the Trinity. By his prayers, O Christ God, save our souls.
Kontakion of the Martyr (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)
Having received the Faith of Christ in your heart as a breastplate, you trampled upon the enemy hosts, O much-suffering champion; and you have been crowned eternally with a heavenly crown, since you are invincible.