3 Martyred Sons of Theodota in Bithynia

The Holy martyr Theodota and her three young children lived during the reign of the emperor Diocletian (284-305). She was a Christian, a native of the city of Nicea, Bithynia. After being widowed, Saint Theodota led a pious life and raised her sons in the Christian Faith. She had a spiritual friendship with Saint Anastasia (December 22).

When the persecution against Christians began, they arrested the holy women. At the trial, the dignitary Leucadius was captivated by the beautiful Theodota and he decided to take her home with him, intending to marry her. Finding herself in the home of Leucadius with her children, Saint Theodota kept herself in purity, yielding neither to inducements nor charms, nor threats by the pagan.

Angered at the steadfastness of the saint, Leucadius sent her and her children to Bithynia, to the district governor Nicetas. At the interrogation, when the judge began to threaten her with torture, Saint Theodota’s eldest son Evodus said that Christians do not fear tortures, but rather fear being forsaken by God. They cruelly beat the boy before the eyes of his mother, so that his blood began to flow. Saint Theodota prayed that the Lord would strengthen her son in his sufferings, and rejoiced in that he was being given a martyr’s death for the sake of truth.

They gave Saint Theodota over to be defiled, but the Lord preserved her. An angel of the Lord held back everyone who tried to approach the saint. Imputing this miracle to sorcery, the judge sentenced the saint and her children to death by fire.

The memory of the holy Martyrs Theodota, the child Evodus and her other two small sons is celebrated also on December 22, together with the memory of Saint Anastasia the Deliverer from Potions.