Saint Theodore the Recruit

The Miracle of Saint Theodore and the Boiled Wheat

Saint Theodore the Recruit
Today we remember the miracle of Saint Theodore and the boiled wheat. Fifty years after the death of Saint Theodore, the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363), wanting to commit an outrage upon the Christians during the first week of Great Lent, commanded the city-commander of Constantinople to sprinkle all the food provisions in the marketplaces with the blood offered to idols. Saint Theodore appeared in a dream to Archbishop Eudoxius, ordering him to inform all the Christians that no one should buy anything at the marketplaces, but rather to eat cooked wheat with honey (kolyva).
In memory of this occurrence, the Orthodox Church annually celebrates the holy Great Martyr Theodore the Recruit on the first Saturday of Great Lent. On Friday evening, at the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts following the prayer at the ambo, the Canon to the holy Great Martyr Theodore, composed by Saint John of Damascus, is sung. After this, kolyva is blessed and distributed to the faithful. The celebration of the Great Martyr Theodore on the first Saturday of Great Lent was set by the Patriarch Nectarius of Constantinople (381-397).
cooked wheat with honey (kolyva)
The Troparion to Saint Theodore is quite similar to the Troparion for the Prophet Daniel and the Three Holy Youths (December 17, Sunday Before Nativity). The Kontakion to Saint Theodore, who suffered martyrdom by fire, reminds us that he also had faith as his breastplate (see I Thessalonians 5:8). 

Troparion — Tone 2
Great are the accomplishments of faith, / for the Holy Martyr Theodore rejoiced in the fount of flames as though at the waters of rest; / for having been made a whole burnt offering in the fire / , he was offered as a sweet bread to the Trinity. / By his entreaties, O Christ God, save our souls!

Kontakion — Tone 8
Having received the faith of Christ in your heart as a breastplate, / you trampled upon inimical forces, O much-suffering champion, / and you have been crowned eternally with a heavenly crown, as one invincible.

Saint Theodore the Recruit is also commemorated on February 17.
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