Pictorial Half Hours with the Saints – Saint Theodosius

illustration of Saint Theodosius the Cenobiarch; from 'Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints'Be Mindful of Death

Theodosius was born in Cappadocia towards the year 423, and was brought up in sentiments of tender piety. He first devoted himself to the priestly state; but feeling afterwards called to contemplation and retirement, he adopted the life of a coenobite. His humility failed to hide from the eyes of the world at large the splendour of his sanctity; and a great throng of persons of every age having assembled round his cell, he withdrew into a solitude more retired still, with the intent to remain unknown to men. A few companions went to join him, and subsequently numerous disciples followed; so that he saw himself obliged to found a new monastery; for his charity exceeded all bounds. He never refused to receive any one, nor denied anything to any one. He often expended the last resources of the monastery in favour of strangers, pilgrims, and the poor. The thought ever-present to his mind was that of death; the first advice which he offered to his disciples was to prepare to die. Despite his great austerities and labours, his life was prolonged to the age of 106.

Moral Reflection

The Holy Spirit has told us by the lips of the Wise Man, “Have ever before thy eyes the remembrance of thy last end, and thou shalt never sin.” – Eccles. 7:40

– from Pictorial Half Hours with the Saints, by Father Auguste Fran├žois Lecanu, 1865