Sunday, September 18, 2011

Theodore of Tarsus, Archbisop of Canturebury: 19 September

St. Theodore of Tarsus was sent by Pope Vitalian of Rome to take the place of the Anglo Saxon candidate for Bishop, Wighard died in Rome. Theodore, already 65, a monk, but not yet presbyter turned out to be an excellent man for the job. He worked out differences between Roman and Celtic traditions, filled vacant Bishoprics and organized the very first council of the Church of England. He was, according to Bede the first Archibishop whom all the English obeyed. He organized dioceses, set boundaries and basically organized the English church. One of his organizational details is still used by our church. Twenty five percent of the offering to the poor, twenty five percent to maintaining the church, twenty five per cent to the clergy for maintenance of the altar and clergy and twenty five per cent to the bishop for his expenses and misson.

He also founded a school which was attended by Celts and English, helping to unify the traditions, and which taught Greek, Latin, poetry, astronomy and calendar calculation.

When Theodore arrived, things were a mess. When he died twenty three years later at the age of 88 on 19 September, 690, the church was organized and ready for mission.

Collect: Heavenly Father, you sent Theodore to organize and put right the church of England and to reconcile the church of the English with the Church of the Celts. Raise up among us, clergy and laity, who will help organise the church today so that it would be an effective means of evangelising the world in which we live. This we ask in the name of Yeshua, who lives and reigns with you and Ruach ha Kodesh, one God in Glory everlasting. Amen. (white)

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