SAINT THEODORUS OF PHERME
An anchorite of the fourth-fifth century. Several persons named Theodorus are mentioned in the APOPHTHEGMATA PATRUM, but the only one of whom much is said is the Theodorus customarily described as “of Pherme” because he lived there for the greater part of his life. He had been a monk at Scetis and withdrew to Pherme, some 20 miles (30 km) to the northwest, when SCETIS was devastated by the Mazices in 407.
He had known MACARIUS, Theonas, ACHILLAS, and several monks of the Kellia, among them John the Eunuch. Ordained a deacon against his will, Theodorus never wished, for reasons of humility, to exercise the functions of that office. He and ARSENIUS were particularly renowned for their disdain of any human glory, and for this reason they often fled from their fellow men. Like Arsenius, Theodorus did, however, have disciples, particularly one called Isaac, but he was loath to govern them. When he became old and infirm, he had no lack of visitors, who constantly brought him food. He distributed almost all of it and likewise disposed even of his books. For six years he struggled against impurity, and subjected himself to a very strict rule. The Lord finally delivered him, and as an old man he became a terror to the demons.
- Arras, V., ed. Collectio monastica, 13, 15; 14, 5; 14, 48. CSCO 238, pp. 87, 110, 122. Cotelier, J. B., ed. Apophthegmata Patrum. PG 65, pp. 188-96. Paris, 1864.