This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Friday, February 4, 2011

February 4 -- Feast of St. Theophilus

St. Theophilus was a priest in Cilicia (modern Turkey) in the sixth century. He was offered the bishop's post in Adana, but declined humbly. Naturally another guy was picked, and sensing that Theophilus might be a rival, Bishop New Guy busted Theo from the post of archdeacon.

Theo took umbrage, of course, and signed a deal with a demon to get revenge. Sounding Faustian? Theo's legend is the source of Goethe's story. Theo signed in his own blood and got the mitre in exchange.

Years later, buyer's regret. He begged Mary Theotokos to intervene for him with God. He fasted thirty days after which Mary assured him of absolution, but the Devil still held the contract. Three days more of prayer and he woke to find the contract on his chest. He took it to New Guy the Ex-Bishop and confessed, but New Guy burned the contract. What's done is done, right? Of course Theophilus, in absolute relief and a state of relative sinlessness, died on the spot.

The sources I checked don't indicate whether New Guy got the mitre and staff back or not. I'd like to think so.

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