THE FEAST DAY OF THEODORE OF TARSUS - DR. GIL HAAS, SAINT AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH, OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA
Today is the feast day of Theodore of Tarsus - a saint of Byzantine Greek descent. Tarsus is in Cilicia - now in southern Turkey. . Muslim Persian forces captured Tarsus in 637 which probably drove the 11-year-old Theodore from his home. He studied in Constantinople as well as Athens. The Synod of Whitby in 664 confirmed that the British Church would follow Rome, and therefore Britain needed clerical leaders. When Theodore was 66 years of age and not yet a subdeacon, the see of Canterbury fell vacant, but the man chosen to fill the post died. Theodore was then chosen, and he was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury in Rome (668). He called the Synod of Hertford (673) which agreed on a uniform observance of Easter’s date. Theodore called the Council of Hartfield (680) at which all English bishops attested to their orthodoxy by affirming the Nicene faith. He established the authority of the see of Canterbury, but this placed him in conflict with the diocese of York. The Venerable Bede praised Theodore for being the “first to whom the whole English church made submission.” He died in 690, but none of this writings survive.
~Dr. Gil Haas, Saint Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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