By Bishop Grigorios of Mesaoria
Our Church commemorates today Prophet Zephaniah (Sophonias), Venerable Theodoulos, New Martyr Angelis, and Venerable Theodoulos the Cypriot, the Fool for Christ.
Prophet Zephaniah lived in the 7th century BC. His name means “God protects.” In his prophetic book, one of the 49 books of the Old Testament, he prophesied about the calamities that were to come for the people of Judea and the surrounding regions. He reprimanded the city of Jerusalem for its corruption, but also called it the “glorious city” because it would redeem the humankind through the incarnation of Christ the Savior.
Venerable Theodoulos the Cypriot lived with self-denial and unlimited kindness to the people. He was a meek and forgiving person who was distributing all that he got to those in need.
He became a monk because he wanted to be eternally devoted to the will of the Lord and be deemed worthy of the Christian virtues. His reputation as a virtuous man was rapidly spreading, so many wanted his piece of advice. Not seeking glory and flattery, he welcomed with love both the rich and the poor. He understood people’s spiritual weakness and helped them overcome trials through humiliation and the holy mysteries of the Church. Venerable Theodoulos deliberately flouted society’s conventions to serve this religious purpose, that is, to lead them to salvation and not to the selfishness and exploitation of simplistic consciences.
Source: Church of Cyprus