Theodore Stratelates
The prophet Zacharias
The Martyrdom of Saints Pistis, Helpis, Agape and
    their Mother Sophia

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Theodore Stratelates

Theodore Stratelates was a Roman commander of a garrison soldiers stationed in a particular location, originally to guard it. in Galatia in the fourth century, and a secret Christian in his twenties.

Emperor Licinius invited Theodore to Nicomedia for a celebration in honor of his victories. Many golden idols were set about by Licinius for the pagan rites. Theodore had them broken, and the pieces were given to the poor. He then presented himself as a Christian and urged the emperor to accept the one God. Licinius had him executed. Theodore's relics object or a personal item of religious significance, carefully preserved with an air of veneration as a tangible memorial. that are now in Constantinople have produced miracles by his prayers. Theodore is known as the protector of soldiers.


Five hundred years before it happened, the prophet Zacharias foretold of Holy Week the last week of Lent, including Palm Sunday,Maundy Thursday,Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. . He told of the trimphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on a colt on Palm Sunday (also known as Passion Sunday) the Sunday before Easter Sunday; the day of the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in the days before his Passion. , of the thirty pieces of silver the money Judas Iscariot received for betraying Jesus to the authorities. that Judas took to betray Jesus, and of the apostles leaving Jesus at the time of the crucifixion. He was known as the eleventh of the minor prophets.

Martyrdom of Saints Pistis, Helpis, Agape and their Mother Sophia

St. Sophia was from a rich and noble family in Antioch. When her daughters were born, she called them Pistis, which means faith, Helpis, which means hope, and Agape, which means love. When they grew up, she went with them to Rome to teach them worship and to fear God.

Emperor Hadrianus (Hadrian) heard about them and summoned them before him. Their mother preached to them and gave them comfort, teaching them to be steadfast in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ. She used to tell them, "Let not your determination grow faint or weak, and let not the glory of the world entice you, lest you lose the eternal glory. Be patient and persevere until you meet your Bridegroom, Christ, with Whom you will enter the eternal joy".

The oldest sister was twelve years old, the second war ten years old and the youngest was nine years old. When they appeared in the presence of the Emperor, he asked the oldest to worship idols, promising her that he would give her in marriage to one of the great men in his kingdom, and that he would decorate her with many medals. When she refused, he ordered her to be beaten with hammers, her breasts to be cut off, and that she be placed in a pot of boiling water. The Lord was with her, saved her and strengthened her. As everyone was astonished and glorified God, the Emperor commanded that she be beheaded.

He also beat the second daughter and he put her in the boiling water and then they cut her head. With the youngest, her mother feared that she would weaken, so she encouraged her. When the Emperor ordered that she be placed in the pressing wheels (Hinbazin), she cried to Christ, and He sent His angel and He broke it. The Emperor ordered that she be thrown into the fire. She prayed, made the sign of the cross on her face, then she threw herself into it. All those present saw three men in white robes surrounding her, and the fiery fire was as cold as dew. They marvelled and many believed in Christ and they were all beheaded. The Emperor ordered that her side be pierces with hot rods. The Lord strengthened her and she did not feel the pain. Finally, she was beheaded.

Their mother carried the bodies of her three daughters outside the city, sat down, wept and asked Christ to take her soul also. The Lord granted her wish and at once, her soul went up to her creator. Some believers came, carried the bodies and buried them with great honour.

Emperor Hadrian was struck with smallpox in his eyes, and he became blind. Worms grew in his body. He died the most dreadful death.

Glory be to God forever, Amen.


Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servants Theodore, Zacharias, Pistis, Helpis, Agape, Sophia may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at last we may with them attain to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.