June 2006
Holy Martyr, Saint Theodotus of Ancyra

Patron of Innkeepers -
Feast June 7th
Mark Merlino - Home page
The Martyrdom of the Holy Martyr Theodotus

(1) Ancyra, also had other saints bear witness all around it. There was the good Theodotus, who was given the
name, called and became 'God's gift.' As much as Great Clement afterwards, he resisted in the same place,
declaring to tyrants both freely and publicly, that Christ is true God, maker of all, and none of their punishments
would scare him. He advised some of those close to him to flee at the right time and foresaw them not falling into
danger. Not in order to be exalted but to teach, he said to the godless that a lowly Christian is more powerful than
the godless emperors. And some of those having come from the countryside to him, said that after his martyrdom,
his remains would be sent to them. The wicked nobles of the countryside reported this to the province's governor,
Theotecnus, who was the child of a demon. Immediately, he sent out soldier under him to secure this man.

(2) And so, when God's gift, the good Theodotus, heard these things from someone, thinking ahead, he found the
governor and Theodotus said, "Truly Governor, many of you act in cheap profanity. For someone who makes war
on one of Christ's soldiers sends away the phalanx of soldiers having tested the armor. And look, I have come to
you alone willingly. Governor, I am looking for you. And so, I am making this offer to you." Then, having become
very angry, the accursed ordered that the martyr be stretched out all the way and that his exhausted tendons be
torn to pieces. And so, he received the torture of his tendons in the way of a snowstorm. Truly, he said nothing but
only this, "Sins stretch behind me in the degree of the lawlessness of these men." So then the governor, having
ordered him to be released, said, "Look Theodotus, only audaciousness has left you earlier. And if you only saw
how much you were avoiding me earlier." He said, "It wasn't audaciousness as you said, but my red-hot desire for
Christ. Were you pleased that he too suffered because of such things? Look I have contempt for your desire for
torture." And Theotecnus said, "You are boasting about these things and Theodotus, you are carried away with
foolishness. But I agree with your punishments, there is agreement that you have been the gift of the gods." And the
saint, "He who wishes, does." He said to him, "Know the power of Christ, what there will be above for the
suffering and torture." Being enraged hearing these things, he ordered him to be subdued with a stick, scraping
down his ribs, scraping them down bitterly. And so, having been injured. The martyr felt pain breathing. He prayed
to God, saying, "My relief, Lord, having suffered and being caught in torture for you stop the release of human
weakness. Lover of Goodness, give the gift in your holy name so that all know that you alone are the highest, you
give strength and power to those who trust in you."

(3) He was exalted in this way, going down from the wood, he was taken to be returned to prison. Shouting
throughout the marketplace, "Men, look at such great injuries. And the end of the suffering. For if the king of the
earth honours those made men for him, this is change for the better. How by no means the Immortal One will
crown those magnificently bearing witness for his sake and will give them shares of his kingdom. And bearing
witness gushes forth sweetness and the cures of having given witness." Having said these things, he arrived at
prison. At day break, he and five others like him were brought out for judgment. He said, "Believe me, Theodotus,
not wanting to declare a fondness for our previous rivalry," and released him from punishments. And he said, "I am
not thankful to you. I will believe you because if my body has been worn out by suffering and my ribs are spitting
forth blood from the wounds. But I came vigorously and willingly as I will finish my race and take my reward from
Christ's reward." The unjust one went in front to strike him on his body with stones. "Do not name the crucified,"
shouting out "because you defile my court." And the saint, "Fool, blind is your mind and your desire to see. You
come in naming your gods and it doesn't seem to defile your court. And having named my pure and undefiled God
Christ should disturb and anger the all-wretched. But what friend? And the demons? Who possess the same do
this, for not bearing to accept hearing his name, isn't one torturing those from his sight." He said, "Jesus the
Nazarene, for us and for you came here this moment to test us." And the governor, "I acknowledge Theodotus that
you are more suitable for earlier trials. And as you continue on with the same things, I will make you stiff with new
tortures and I will clearly understand that he in whom you trust will not help you." And the martyr was hung back on
the wood and his body was cruelly struck, receiving wounds upon wounds and blows upon blows. But he was also
being mocked by the wicked. Saying ironically, "Fight Theodotus, since you are receiving the torments in exchange
for greater things." And he said, "If you should see God's gift, having done the same, they are given retribution for
the pain. You have chosen to make me suffer in order to gain such things. And when your intellect is hardened and
you do not want to understand his being exalted, you shall receive Gehenna. Being in opposition, you are sinning
accordingly." And anticipating such things, the governor said to him, "I can no longer put up with your boldness
Theodotus and I am going to make a judgment on you. You must at least do worship to the gods." And the saint,
"You think that I am a fool governor. I said to you often and promise the contrary, I will not acknowledge the guilt
ridden and stupid idols for a demon. Do then that which you must do."

(4) Then he made his decision about him, that his head should be cut off with a sword. Then you were taken, o
victorious martyr, onto the place of the accomplishment. You departed in a moment of prayer, took your holy
sacrifice and you crossed over to God. The body suffering on earth puts the soul into the hands of the angels. With
salvation having been appointed in this place, the all honourable relics were transported to a shrine by a man
friendly to you. In his presence are great beauty and freshness, swelling with wonderful springs and cures for all
kinds of afflictions. And now, dwelling in heaven and looking down from heaven at the beautiful works there are in
him. And having found his place in a groove in a tabernacle in the sanctuaries are his most active prayers begging in
the chorus of the array of angels to God. But still, the power from things against the suffering of the unseen enemy
come from the kingdom of God that can be seen in him, the glory, power, both now and forever, for the ages of
ages. Amen.