February Feast Days

Sr.Theophillus the Penitent

St.Theophillus the Penitent

Feast Day January 4

Theophilus was the archdeacon of Adana, Cilicia, which is part of modern Turkey. He was unanimously elected to be a bishop, and when out of humility he turned the position down, another man was elected in his stead. When the new bishop unjustly deprived Theophilus of his position as archdeacon, Theophilus regretted his previous stance and sought out a necromancer to help him contact Satan. In exchange for his aid, Satan demanded that Theophilus renounce Christ and the Virgin Mary in a contract signed with his own blood. Theophilus complied, and the devil gave him the position as bishop.

Later, fearful for his soul, Theophilus repented and prayed to the Virgin for forgiveness. After forty days of fasting, the Virgin appeared to him and verbally chastised him. Theophilus begged forgiveness and Mary promised to intercede with God. He then fasted a further thirty days, after which Mary appeared to him again, granted him absolution. However, Satan was unwilling to relinquish his hold over Theophilus, and three days later, Theophilus awoke to find the damning contract on his chest. He then took the contract to the legitimate bishop and confessed all that he had done. The bishop burned the document, and Theophilus died out of sheer joy to be free from the burden of his contract.

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