Jan. 11 Our Venerable Father Theodosius, Founder of the Common Life

Bulletin as of January 10 2024

Our venerable father Theodosius, founder of the Common Life, lived during the fifth and sixth centuries, and was the founder of cenobitic monasticism. He was born in Cappadocia to pious parents. Endowed with a splendid voice, he zealously toiled at church readings and singing.

Yearning for a solitary life, St. Theodosius settled in Palestine into a desolate cave, in which, according to tradition, the three Magi had spent the night, having come to worship the Savior after his Nativity. He lived there for thirty years in great abstinence and unceasing prayer. People flocked to the ascetic, wishing to live under his guidance. When the cave could no longer hold all the monks, St. Theodosius prayed that the Lord Himself would indicate a place for the monks. Taking the censer with cold charcoal and incense, the monk started walking into the desert. At a certain spot the charcoal ignited by itself and the incense smoke began to rise. Here the monk established the first cenobitic monastery or Lavra. Soon the Lavra of St. Theodosius became renowned, and up to 700 monks gathered there. Before his death, St. Theodosius summoned to him three beloved bishops and revealed to them that he would soon depart for the Lord. After three days, he died at the age of 105 (in the year 529). The saint’s body was buried with reverence in the cave in which he lived at the beginning of his ascetic life. 



Your abundant tears made the wilderness bloom, and your sufferings made your labors fruitful a hundredfold; you became a shining torch over the world. O venerable Father Theodosius, pray to Christ our God that He may save our souls.



You were planted in the courts of your Lord and blossomed forth with beautiful and admirable virtues, O master of God’s holy sheepfold. You multiplied your children in the wilderness and quenched their thirst with your abundant tears. Therefore we cry out: Rejoice O father Theodosius.



2 Corinthians 4: 6-15

Brothers and sisters: God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts, that we in turn might make known the glory of God shining on the face of Christ. This treasure we possess in earthen vessels to make it clear that its surpassing power comes from God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way possible, but we are not crushed; full of doubts, we never despair. We are persecuted but never abandoned; we are struck down but never destroyed. Continually we carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus, so that in our bodies the life of Jesus may also be revealed. While we live we are constantly being delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be revealed in our mortal flesh. Death is at work in us, but life in you. We have that spirit of faith of which the Scripture says, “Because I believed, I spoke out.” We believe and so we speak, knowing that he who raised up the Lord Jesus will raise us up along with Jesus and place both us and you in his presence. Indeed, everything is ordered to your benefit, so that the grace bestowed in abundance may bring greater glory to God because they who give thanks are many. 



Matthew 11: 27-30

The Lord said to his disciples: “everything has been given over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son but the Father, and no one knows the Father but the Son– and anyone whom the Son wished to reveal him.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon your shoulders and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. Your souls will find rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden light.”


Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com


Wednesday, January 10 –

  • 5:20 PM