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Orthodox icon of Saint Theodora the Empress or Augusta.
Commemorated February 11.
This Orthodox icon depicts the Holy Empress Theodora who was from Paphlagonia. She was the wife of the Roman Emperor Theophilos the Iconoclast (829-842), but she did not share in the heresy of her husband. As long as her husband Theophilos lived, she privately venerated icons, despite his displeasure. After the death of her husband, St Theodora governed the realm wisely for fifteen years because her son Michael was a minor.
She convened a Synod, at which the Iconoclasts were anathematized, and the veneration of icons was reinstated. St Theodora established the annual celebration of this event, the Triumph of Orthodoxy, on the first Sunday of the Great Fast. St Theodora did much for the Holy Church and fostered a firm devotion to Orthodoxy in her son Michael.
When Michael came of age, in 857 she was retired from governing and spent eight years in the Monastery of St Euphrosyne (called Gastria), where she devoted herself to ascetic struggles, and reading books that nourished her soul.She died peacefully around the year 867.In 1460, her incorrupt and miracle-working relics were given by the Turks to the people of Kerkyra (Corfu).
They remain in the Church of the Most Holy Theotokos of the Cave, in the capital city of the island, and it is a place of pious pilgrimage by Orthodox faithful till this day.
Ss. 40 Women Martyrs in Heraclea icon
Orthodox icon of the Forty Women Saints (Martyrs) and the Deacon Ammoun, at Heraclea in Thrace.
Commemorated September 1st.
On the first day of September, which marks the opening of our ecclesiastical year, the Church opens its golden pages of martyrdom by celebrating the resolve of the forty women virgin ascetic martyrs who put to shame the torture mechanisms of Licinius. The forty women virgin martyrs lived in Adrianoupolis of Thrace, in northeast Greece, and they were disciples of Deacon Ammoun.
The name of the Martyrs are: Adamantine, Athena, Akrive, Antigone, Arivoea, Aspasia, Aphrodite, Dione, Dodone, Elpinike, Erasmia, Erato, Ermeneia, Euterpe, Thaleia, Theano, Theano, Theonymphe, Theophane, Kalliroe, Kalliste, Kleio or Clio or Klio, Kleonike, Cleopatra, Koralia or Coralia, Lambro, Margarita, Marianthe, Melpomene, Moscho, Ourania, Pandora, Penelope, Polymnia, Polynike, Sapfo, Terpsichore, Troada, Haido, and Harikleia or Hariklia. Deacon Ammoun was hanged, and had his ribcage opened with knives.
After this, a red-hot iron helmet was placed on his head. The above tortures caused no apparent harm to this athlete of Christ, so he was transported to Heraklea of Thrace, to the tyrant Licinius, along with the holy virgins. Licinius ordered to have ten of the virgin martyrs burned by fire, and another eight beheaded, along with deacon Ammoun. Another ten were put to death by the sword, being struck in the mouth or in the heart, thus giving up their spirit. Of those remaining, six were martyred by being forced to swallow sizzling hot iron marbles, and the last six were cut to pieces by knives.
Ss. Ten of Crete icon
Orthodox icon of the Ten (10) Saints of Crete . Icon of 17th cent. Monastery of Saint Catherine Sinai.
Comemmorated December 23.
Ss. Theodoroi icon (1)
Ss. Theodoroi icon (2)