Theodosius was the first founder and organizer of the cenobitic way of monastic life. He was born in the province of Cappadocia in the village of Mogarisses, of devout parents.

As a child, he visited St. Simeon the Stylite, who blessed him and prophesied great and spiritual glory for him. Carrying a censer in which he placed unlit charcoal and incense, Theodosius sought out a place where he could settle and establish his monastery, and he stopped when the charcoal began to burn on its own.

There he settled and began to live the ascetic life. He soon gathered around him many monks of various nationalities. He built a church for each nationality, so that services and hymns were offered to God in Greek, Armenian, Georgian, and other tongues at the same time. But on the day of Holy Communion all the brotherhood gathered in the great church, in which the Greek language was used.

There was a common table for all, common property, common penance, common labor, common endurance and, not rarely, common hunger. Theodosius was an exalted model of life to all the monks–an example in labor, prayer, fasting, watchfulness and all Christian virtues.

God granted him the gift of working miracles, by which he was able to heal the sick, appear to people in distant places and help them, tame wild beasts, discern the future, and cause bread and wheat to multiply. Prayer was on his lips day and night. He reposed peacefully in the Lord in the year 529 A.D., the 105th year after his birth.

This Saint had Cappadocia as his homeland. He lived during the years of Leo of Thrace, who reigned from 457 to 474. The Saint established in the Holy Land a great communal monastery, wherein he was the shepherd of many monks. While Saint Sabbas was the head of the hermits of Palestine, Saint Theodosius was governor of those living the cenobitic life, for which reason he is called the Cenobiarch. Together with Saint Sabbas, towards whom he cherished a deep brotherly love in Christ, he defended the whole land of Palestine from the heresy of the Monophysites, which was championed by the Emperor Anastasius and might very well have triumphed in the Holy Land without the opposition of these two great monastic fathers and their zealous defense of the Holy Council of Chalcedon. Having lived for 103 years, he reposed in peace.

Apolytikion of Theodosius the Cenobiarch

Plagal of the Fourth Tone

With the rivers of your tears, you have made the barren desert fertile. Through sighs of sorrow from deep within you, your labors have borne fruit a hundred-fold. By your miracles you have become a light, shining upon the world. O Theodosios, our Holy Father, pray to Christ our God, to save our souls.

Kontakion of Theodosius the Cenobiarch

Plagal of the Fourth Tone

As being planted in the courts of Christ thy Lord and God, with holy virtues thou delightfully didst blossom forth and didst multiply thy children amid the desert, who were watered with the showers of thy fervent tears, O chief shepherd of the godly sheepfold of our God. Hence we cry to thee: Rejoice, O Father Theodosius.

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