On Sunday, January 25, 2021, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Saint Theodosios the Cenobiarch.
On this feast, the whole Church, and especially the Church of Jerusalem commemorates Saint Theodosios, according to the synaxarion and other sources. The Church commemorates that Saint Theodosios came to the Holy Land from his hometown Mogaristos of Cappadocia around AD 450.
Having initially striven in ascesis at the Holy Monastery of Ikelia, near Jerusalem, he retreated to the desert of Judea and founded the Holy Monastery that bears his name to the present day, as a Coenobion. He received there the beginner monks, who were trained in obedience, common life and the work of handcrafts, and they provided for the poor and the needy. After this training, the monks would receive the blessing to enter a stricter form of ascesis at the monastic Lavra, such as that of Saint Savvas. Saint Theodosios became a Hegoumen / Exarch of the Coenobitic life in Palestine, while Saint Savvas had the same position for the life in the Lavra. Both Saints, Theodosios and Savvas, were from the same country, contemporaries, and co-operated in the fight against Monophysitism, and the establishment of the Doctrine of the 4th Ecumenical Synod in Chalcedon in AD 451, regarding the indivisible coexistence of the two natures of Christ, the divine and the human, in one hypostasis.
This Monastery is located at the place where the Wise Men from Persia stayed overnight on their return via a different route to their country. The Monastery has proven to be stronger than the destructions from various conquerors and the wear of time. It was renovated by the Cretan Monks Galaktion and Leontios in the beginning of the 20th century, later on in the same century by the blessed Archbishop Bartholomew of Madaba, and recently by the Elder Hegoumen Archimandrite Ierotheos, who built a new extension at the Monastery, completed the frescoes in the Church and protected the property of the Patriarchate in the surrounding to the Monastery area.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, an All-night Vigil was officiated at the Monastery by Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, with the co-celebration of Archbishops; Aristarhos of Constantina and Theodosios of Sebastia, Elder Dragoman Archimandrite Mattheos, Priest Yusef and Priest George from Beit Jala, Archdeacon Mark and Hierodeacon Simeon. The chanting was delivered by Archbishop Aristovoulos of Madaba, the spiritual father of the Monastery of Saint Savvas, Archimandrite Eudokimos and the Monks of the Monastery.
After the Vigil, the Hegoumen Archimandrite Ierotheos, who is suffering from poor health, offered a modest reception to the Patriarch, through his helpers.
Source: Patriarchate of Jerusalem