St. Theodore Tiro
Theodore lived in the third century. He was a new soldier in the Roman army when he was called to die for the faith. Although he was young, he knew how to keep his soul pure. He was a prudent person who considered the devil a real enemy. When his legion had camped for the winter in the country of Pontus, all the soldiers were taking part in services to the pagan gods. Since he was a Christian, he knew that these gods did not exist. So Theodore refused to join in the pagan rites. He was arrested.
"How dare you profess a religion which the emperor punishes with death?" demanded the governor. Without hesitation, the young soldier answered, "I do not know your gods. Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, is my God. If you take my answer as an offense, cut off my tongue. Every part of my body is ready to suffer when God calls for this sacrifice."
The pagan judges let Theodore go this time. Then he was arrested later. The judges first tried to win him with kindness. When that treatment did not work, they tried to frighten him by describing the tortures he would go through. In the end, they turned him over to the torturers.
When the suffering soldier was led back into prison, some said that angels came to comfort him. After he had been questioned three times, he was finally condemned to death by fire in the year 306. A beautiful church was later built to enshrine his ashes. Great crowds of people began going to it to pray to the martyr.
What would happen if I lived each day in total commitment to Jesus, as Theodore did?