Saint Theophilus the Penitent

detail of an Italian holy card of Saint Theophilus the Penitent by Bertoni, date unknownMemorial


Archdeacon and treasurer of the church in Adana, Cilicia (in modern Turkey). Offered the bishopric of Adana, he declined, saying he was not adequate to the task. Due to slander accusing him of theft of church funds, the new bishop removed him from his position. In anger, Theophilus signed a pact with a demon to avenge himself on the bishop and regain his position. When he came to his senses, he begged for the help of Our Lady who intervened, recovered the pact, and tore it up. The pact was burned in the public square, and this legend has figured in many dramas since, including Goethe’s Faust.




MLA Citation

  • “Saint Theophilus the Penitent“. CatholicSaints.Info. 1 February 2016. Web. 18 April 2021. <>