Saint Theophilus

A monk and the only son of King Tamulawus, ruler of a island. He received a Christian education. At the age of twelve, having read in the , “He who would be perfect, let him leave all his goods and follow me,” Theophilus disguised himself and left his father, journeying to Egypt and the monastery of the ENATON. The , Victor, received him and gave him the monastic habit. Ten years later, soldiers sent by Theophilus’ father arrived at the monastery and seized the abbot, demanding that he deliver the king’s son to them. Theophilus surrendered to the soldiers, who took him home.

His father did not recognize him, however, because of the effects of his austerities on his body. succeeded in persuading his father, who entrusted his kingdom to his brother, and, accompanied by his wife, came with his son to the monastery of the Enaton. The abbot received the mother and entrusted her to a women’s convent, and gave the king the monk’s habit.

The arrival of the king was reported to the governor, who feared that he and his son might be Greek spies. He put them in irons, and sent a report to Caliph ‘Abd (685-705) in Damascus. However, they were released by an angel and returned to the monastery. The governor, believing they had escaped through the laxity of the guards, had the guards tortured. Tamulawus and Theodorus left the monastery and explained that their liberation was not due to any fault of the soldiers. The governor sent them back to the monastery with gifts, asking the monks for their blessing.

Some days later the abbot visited the father and son in their cell, and Tamulawus announced that he would die the following night. This occurred as a great light illuminated the cell. Three days later, Theodorus died.

The story of Theophilus is related by the SYNAXARION of the Copts in two manuscripts of Lower Egyptian recension.

Theophilus’ feast day is 14 Tubah.


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