jeudi 11 février 2016

Theodora, Empress (AC)
Died 867. Theodora, wife of the iconoclast emperor Theophilus, did her utmost during the reign of her son, Michael the Drunkard, to restore the veneration of sacred images. Together with Saint Methodius, Theodora instituted the Feast of Orthodoxy on the first Sunday in Lent, which celebrates the restoration of holy images for veneration. While she ended her life in a convent, her claim to sanctity is questionable (Attwater2, Benedictines, Encyclopedia). In Ravenna, Italy, a contemporary mosaic shows her among her ladies. Most often she is holding a ring or an evil spirit takes her hand (Roeder).
She is venerated in the East (Attwater2).

February 11

St. Theodora, Empress

BY her mildness and patience she often softened the cruel temper of her brutish husband, Theophilus, and protected the defenders of holy images from the fury of his persecution. Being left by his death regent of the empire during the minority of her son, Michael III., she put an end to the Iconoclast heresy, one hundred and twenty years after the first establishment of it by Leo the Isaurian: and the patriarch Methodius with great solemnity restored holy images in the great church in Constantinople, on the first Sunday of Lent, which we call the second, of which event the Greeks make an annual commemoration, calling it the feast of Orthodoxy. After she had governed the empire with great glory twelve years, she was banished by her unnatural son and his impious uncle Bardas. She prepared herself for death by spending the last eight years of her life in a monastery, where she gave up her soul to God in 867. She is ranked among the saints in the Menology of the emperor Basil, in the Menæa, and other calendars of the Greeks. See the compilations of Bollandus from the authors of the Byzantine history.

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume II: February. The Lives of the Saints.  1866