Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Theodosius the Cenobiarch (423–529)

Saint Theodosius the Cenobiarch (423–529)

Patron saint of file-makers

Feast day: January 11

Saint Theodosius was born to a religious family. He began his education at a young age and followed the example of Abraham by leaving home to follow God. He met Saint Simeon Stylites on his travels and began his monastic life under the hermit Longinus the Centurion.

Theodosius was a hermit in Judah, and when his holy ways began to attract followers, he built a monastery near “The Old Kathisma” (meaning the “resting place” where, according to legend, the Holy Family rested on their way into Egypt) to provide shelter for them. Eventually, due to the distraction of many visitors to the monastery, Theodosius took up a stricter hermit life in a mountain cave.

He formed another community of monks near Bethlehem, with monks of various cultures and languages, and well-known for their work with the sick, the elderly, and the mentally impaired. Theodosius opposed heresies, especially Eutychianism, which was supported by Emperor Anastasius. (This heresy, named after Eutyches of Constantinople, who taught it, was the belief that Christ was fully divine but not fully human; that is, his divine nature overtook his human nature "as the ocean overtakes a drop of vinegar.") The emperor tried desperately to persuade Theodosius to accept this heresy, eventually deciding to bribe him with a large amount of money. Theodosius took the bribe and distributed it to the poor and the needy, while standing firm in his opposition to Eutychianism.

Theodosius encountered poor health in his old age but continued to do good works and pray with his community until his death at age 105.

(Image in public domain-70)