Feast Day – October 23
About the year 361, a man by the name of Julian, was Emperor at that time. The Emperor also had a nephew by the name of Julian, who was made Count (Governor) of the East. The terrible thing about these two men is that they were Apostates. An Apostate is a person who was a Catholic at one time but has left the Catholic Church.
The Count was told that there was a great amount of gold and silver in the main Catholic Church in Antioch. He was eager to steal all the gold and silver from the Church, which was a terrible sin! He closed all the Catholic Churches at Antioch and ordered all the priests and clergy to leave the city.
St. Theodoret was a very good and holy priest, who had destroyed many false idols in the past, built many churches and shrines over the relics of martyrs. He refused to obey the sinful ideas of the Count! The holy priest gathered the Christians together and continued to have the Mass and other prayers said publicly.
Count Julian was terribly angry about this and ordered St. Theodoret to be brought before him, with his hands tied. The Count ordered him to be beaten and tortured. The holy priest’s arms and legs were tied to pulleys and stretched until his body was about eight feet long! When St. Theodoret was tormented and bleeding, Count Julian sneered, “I see that you are not suffering enough!”
The saint replied, “God is with me and I do not feel any pain!”
The wicked Count then had fire applied to the body of the martyr. As his skin was burning, the saint prayed aloud, “ Dear Lord, I beg of Thee to glorify my name throughout all ages.” Then God worked a miracle and caused the tormenters to fall to the ground.
Julian was afraid, but then ordered the men to continue burning this priest! The tormenters then cried out, “We can not torture this man. There are four angels clothed in white, standing with Theodoret! Then the Count in a rage, ordered the tormentors to be thrown in the water and drowned.
Then St. Theodore cried out, “O wretched man, you know well that on the Day of Judgment God will send you and the tyrant you serve to Hell!” The saint was then beheaded and he flew to Heaven!
Saint Theodoret, Pray for Us.
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