17 February / 2 March
'Tyro' means 'Recruit'. No sooner had St Theodore entered the Marmarite regiment of the army in the town of Amasea than a persecution of Christians broke out under the Emperors Maximian and Maximinus. Theodore did not attempt to conceal that he was a Christian, and was brought to trial and imprisoned in a prison that was then locked and sealed. The wicked judge intended him to die of hunger, but the Lord Christ Himself appeared to Theodore in the prison and encouraged His martyr with these words: 'Fear not, Theodore; I am with thee. Take no more earthly food and drink, for thou shalt be in the other life, eternal and unending, with Me in heaven.' Then a multitude of angels appeared in the prison, and the whole place shone with light. The warders on duty saw the angels in white apparel and were filled with fear. Then St Theodore was taken out, tortured and condemned to death. He was thrown into fire, and gave his soul to the most high God. He suffered in 306. Our Holy Fathers Theodosius the Bulgarian and Romanus.
Irish by birth, St. Finan of Lindisfarne became a monk at Iona and upheld the Celtic traditions against the encroachment of Roman usage. Finan baptised Penda, ruler of the Middle Angles, and Sigebert, ruler of Essex. Elected bishop of Lindisfarne in 651, Finan sent missionaries to Mercia and to Essex. He also debated Ronan, an Englishman, about the correct way to calculate the date of Easter. On the Holy Island, he built a wooden cathedral, the roof of which was thatched with seagrass. (A later abbot removed the thatching and covered the building with lead). Finan died in 661, and St. Cuthbert succeeded him as abbot.