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St. Theodore of Tarsus and Canterbury (September 19th)

By Bp. Joseph (Anglican Vicariate) 
Theodore was born in 602 AD. His parentage was of the patrician elite, and his father, like many fathers of the great Western saints, was a lawyer. He was raised as a Christian, Greek-speaking Roman, with a classical education in rhetoric, astronomy, mathematics and law. Antioch, where Theodore’s father held an official post, fell to Persia in 613 AD, when Theodore was just a young teenager. He grew up as a captive “Rum”, serving the Persian empire as a subjugated class. It is thought that he was a gifted young man, and that he probably was married and had a family, employed in a secular capacity as a lawyer or minor official, until some unknown tragedy befell him and he devoted himself to the ascetical life of a monk. He then studied the Antiochian school of biblical exegesis, traveling to Edessa, and learning from scholars of the Church of the East. It was also probably through him that the Persian Syriac hagiographies came to England, where they e…

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