Featured Saint 04/02

St. Theophilus the Monk

Claim to fame: He was the only son of a king of one of the Roman islands and was brought up in the Christian faith. When he was 12 years old, he read in the bible, “If you want to be perfect, go sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (Matt 19:21) as well as Hebrews 1:10-12 and 1 Corinthians 7. Theophilus left his father’s house and all that was his, and went out in disguise, and eventually went to the monastery. When St. Boctor, the abbot of the monastery, saw him and knew by the spirit that he was a descendant of kings, he received him well and blessed him. When he saw his successful, virtuous, and active spiritual life, he clothed him in the holy Eskeem. Ten years later, some soldiers sent by Theophilus’ father came and took him by force. When he came before his father, he could not recognize him, for asceticism had changed his appearance. The saint revealed his identity to his father, who rejoiced greatly. The saint started to preach to his father telling him about life, death and judgement. His words left a mark in the heart of his father. His father took the crown off his head, relinquishing his throne to his brother. He went with St Theophilus to the monastery, where the king became a monk and stayed with his son. St. Theophilus’ mother became a nun in a convent. They all lived an ascetic life in worship and in virtue until the end of their days.

Quote: You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But you are the same, and Your years will not fail.

Fun fact: Theophilus means friend of God, and is the name that St. Luke writes his gospel to.