St Theodore

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Saint Of The Day

One of the most famous Roman soldier-martyrs, almost nothing is known of his life except his martyrdom in the 4th century.

Theodore was called a wonder worker. As a young recruit, while his legion was wintering at Amasea near Pontus, he was ordered to worship idols. He refused. When he was called before the governor he said: "Jesus Christ is my one God. There is no limb I would not sacrifice if God demanded it."

Theodore was subjected to a fearsome series of tortures before being thrown into a furnace. His ashes were saved by a Christian woman called Eusebia.

A church in Rome is dedicated to him. His shrine was at Euchaita in Pontus. His relics are said to be in Venice and Chartres. His legend is told in mosaics at St Mark's in Venice and in stained glass windows at Chartres.

Today we also celebrates the dedication of the Church of St John Lateran

St John Lateran is the Pope's church, the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome where the Bishop of Rome presides.

The first basilica on the site was built in the fourth century when Constantine donated land he had received from the wealthy Lateran family. That structure and its successors suffered fire, earthquake and the ravages of war, but the Lateran remained the church where popes were consecrated until the popes left Rome and then returned from Avignon in the 14th century to find the church and the adjoining palace in ruins.