Mom, named Mary, was the daughter of an innkeeper named Elpidia. Mary and her sister, Despoinia, took after their mom in both their good looks and their profession. The trade was good on the imperial highway, but Mary knew that Cosmas was the dad because she rolled over and told him she had dreamed about a bright star falling from the sky into her uterus.
|Ted's on the left|
When Theodore was six, she was planning to enroll him in the imperial service training in the capital, but Saint George appeared saying that the King in Heaven had need of his service instead. Mary feared this meant the kid would die soon, but instead he throve. Quick with studies and good with games, he had a gentle disposition that made him popular with classmates and neighboring kids. Any mom would be proud, even if she didn't think he was anointed by God.
At twelve, he was miraculously cured of the plague when drops of dew fell on him from the cathedral crucifix under which he had been laid.
|Devil's Head Rock -- see below|
The Devil set Theodore in his sights. He pretended to be a school chum named Gerontius and together, they scaled the climbed up to the top of a cliff.
GerontiuSatan: I dare you to jump down there.
Theodore: No way. If I didn't die, I'd cripple myself.
Theodore: Oh, and I suppose you would do it?
GerontiuSatan: I will if you will.
Theodore: Uh-uh. No way.
GerontiuSatan: Then I will do it alone and then tell all the kids that you're a chicken.
Theodore: No, wait. I will if you do it first.
GerontiuSatan: [Jumps. Floats down gently and lands on a rock with a flourish.] Your turn! Hurry up or I'll go back to the village and tell everyone that you're a chicken.
Saint George: [appearing suddenly] C'mon. You know that's not your friend. Just walk away. Put your faith in God, but don't presume to test him.
I figure that was the day that Theodore made the jump from unusually promising boy to holy man. Check in next year for the continuing story...