Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint 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.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Theodora, Empress”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 10 February 2013. Web. 17 January 2019. <>