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Pope JOHN PAUL II
This PLAQUE (202 mm x 164 mm) has been cast in BRONZE to commemorate St. Theodore of Amasea, IV century.
The plaque has been designed by the outstanding German artist, Egino WEINERT, Koeln.
Saint Theodore of Amasea (Greek: (Ἅγιος) Θεόδωρος Ἀμασείας) is one of the two saints called Theodore, who are venerated as Warrior Saints and Great Martyrs in the Eastern Orthodox Church. He is also known as Theodore Tyron (or Tyro or Tiron or Tiro or Teron; Greek: ὁ Τήρων). The other saint of the same name is Theodore Stratelates, also known as Theodore of Heraclea, but this second St Theodore may never have had a separate existence. When the epithet is omitted, the reference is usually to St Theodore of Amasea.
"Tiro"is a word from classical Latin meaning a "recently enlisted soldier or recruit". The Latin word was transliterated into Greek with various spellings (Τύρων, Τίρων, Τήρων or Τείρων).
size - 196 mm x 156 mm
weight – 1005 gr
metal – bronze, old nice patina
Life and martyrdom
Nothing reliable is known about St Theodore except that he was martyred in the early 4th century (306 is the date quoted for Theodore of Amasea, but 319 for Theodore Stratelates). The stories told about his life and martyrdom are all matters of myth and legend.
The legends of Theodore of Amasea recount that he was a recruit serving in the Roman army at Amasea, which is the modern Amasya in Northern Turkey, about 30 miles (48 km) south of the Black Sea coast at Sinope and Samsun. (Another version says that he was not a recruit but was called "Tyro" because he served in the Cohors Tyronum. When he refused to join his fellow soldiers in pagan rites of worship, he was arrested, but then (perhaps on account of his youth) set free after a warning. However, he again protested paganism by setting fire to the temple of Cybele (the local mother-goddess) at Amasea. He was then condemned to death and, after tortures, was executed by being thrown into a furnace.
His remains were said to have been obtained by a woman from Eusebia and interred at Euchaita, where he had been born. This was a Byzantine city which no longer exists but is thought to correspond to the modern Avkhat, which is about 30 miles from Amasea. A shrine was erected there, which became an important place of pilgrimage.
Gregory of Nyssa preached in honour of St Theodore in his sanctuary in the late 4th century, and this is the earliest source for any information about him. He said nothing about St Theodore's life beyond the basic legend as given above, but he told how he could influence the lives of his hearers and specifically mentioned that he could intervene in battles. This became a particularly important attribute of St Theodore. He was adopted by crusaders as their patron.
The sanctuary of the saint was established at Euchaita, possibly his birthplace, and legends of his life and martyrdom have been developed by hagiographers over the years. Later additions to the story, between the 8th and 10th centuries, told of a dragon who was terrorising the district round Amasea, which he was able to vanquish with the aid of a cross. Amasea was by then in a district liable to attacks by marauding barbarians, against whom the saint was said to have interceded. His sanctuary continued to be visited until around 1100, although the district was by then occupied by the Arabs.
In Western Christianity, he is usually called 'Theodore of Amasea' from the ancient city in Pontus where he suffered martyrdom. Sometimes he is called 'Theodore Euchaita', from the place where he was possibly born and to which his body had been carried, and where his shrine was erected later. In Eastern Christianity, he is more often known as Theodore Teron, "Theodore the Recruit".
There is much confusion between him and St Theodore Stratelates of Heraclea, who is also sometimes said to have had a shrine at Euchaita, but the shrine of the latter was in fact at Euchaneia. His "lives" are listed in Bibliotecha Hagiographica Graeca 1760-1773.
St Theodore became especially important in the Eastern Orthodox Church, where his cult spread widely. The first church dedicated to him in Constantinople was built in 452, and eventually he had 15 churches in that city. He was famous in Syria, Palestine and Asia Minor. Many churches of the Eastern Orthodox Church are dedicated to him. The oldest Georgian Bir el Qutt inscriptions mention him twice.
In Italy he was shown in a mosaic in the apse of the church of SS. Cosmas & Damian in Rome (dated about 530), and by the next century, he had his own church there at the foot of the Palatine, circular in shape. People brought their sick children to his temple, as to an asclepeion, or healing-temple. This church of San Teodoro was made a collegiate church by Pope Felix IV and was made available to the orthodox church in Rome by Pope John Paul IIin 2000. This was inaugurated in 2004.
He became the first patron of Venice. The chapel of the Doge was dedicated to him until, in the 9th century, Venice wished to free itself from the influence of Byzantium, and he was succeeded by St Mark (see later section: St Theodore and Venice).
He was not popular in northern Europe beyond Italy. HoweverChartres Cathedral, in France, has a stained glass window with a series of 38 panels celebrating St Theodore, which date from the 13th century.