Orthodox icon | Saint Great Martyr Theodor Tyron | 24816.
Saint Theodor Tyron
Saint Theodor Tyron, according to ancient legends, was a devoted Christian and a soldier in the army of Emperor Maximian in Pontus on the Black Sea. He served as a commander of a garrison in Galatia during the time of the Roman persecution of Christians under Maximinus Daia.
It is said that he was martyred in Amaseia for his unwavering faith. One of the accusations against him was that he had set fire to the Roman temple of the Magna Mater.
However, the hagiographic accounts of the saints became intertwined and mixed over time. The common soldier known as Theodor Tyron (died around 306), also called Theodoros of Euchaïta, was mistakenly associated with the legendary Saint George the Dragon Slayer, who was renowned for his mythical encounter with a dragon.
Additionally, Theodor Tyron became connected with the persona of Theodor Stratelates (died around 319), a Roman garrison leader whose veneration began in the 9th century. The Church often commemorates both saints as a single entity.
According to the legend, Saint Theodor Tyron and his troops were encamped near the town of Evchaita when they learned of a menacing dragon terrorizing the area. Princess Eusebia, a resident of the town, guided him to the creature’s lair.
Armed with the sign of the cross, the saint fearlessly confronted the dragon, which spewed flames and attacked him. With a lance, Saint Theodor struck the dragon in the head, ultimately defeating the fearsome beast.
On the icon representing Saint Theodor Tyron, he is depicted receiving the martyr’s crown from an angel. Positioned at the top left is the image of Saint George the Great Martyr. He is shown slaying the dragon, while above on the right is the blessing Christ Pantocrator.
Saint Theodor Tyron is recognized as the patron saint of Venice (until the 9th century) and Brindisi. He is revered as the protector of soldiers and armies, and is called upon during times of battle and storms.
The saint is often portrayed as a soldier adorned with armor, shield, and lance, and accompanied by a crocodile or dragon. His feast day is celebrated on February 17 and the first Saturday of Great Lent.