The Hieromartyr Theodotus, a native of Galatia in Asia Minor, was Bishop of Cyrenia in Cyprus. During a time of persecution against Christians under the impious emperor Licinius (311-324), St Theodotus openly preached Christ, calling on the pagans to abandon idolatry and turn to the true God. Sabinus, the governor of Cyprus, ordered that Bishop Theodotus be arrested and brought to trial.
When he heard about this order, the saint did not wait for the soldiers to be sent after him, but immediately went to the governor saying, "I, whom you seek, am here. I have shown myself in order to preach Christ my God."
The governor ordered that the saint be beaten without mercy, suspended from a tree, raked with sharp implements, and then be taken to prison. Five days later St Theodotus was brought to the governor, who presumed that after his tortures the bishop would prefer to renounce Christ, rather than endure new sufferings.
However, St Theodotus did not cease to preach about Christ. At first they put the saint on an iron grate, under which they lit a fire, and then hammered nails into his feet and let him go. Many witnessed the sufferings of the martyr. Astonished at the saint's endurance and his divinely-inspired speech, they came to believe in Christ. Learning of this, Sabinus gave orders to stop the torture and throw the saint into prison.
During the reign of St Constantine the Great (May 21), the freedom to confess their faith was given to all Christians, and among those set free from prison was St Theodotus. The saint returned to Cyrenia and after two years serving as bishop he peacefully fell asleep in the Lord in about the year 326.
Troparion - Tone 4
By sharing in the ways of the Apostles,
you became a successor to their throne.
Through the practice of virtue, you found the way to divine contemplation, O inspired one of God;
by teaching the word of truth without error, you defended the Faith, even to the shedding of your blood.
Hieromartyr Theodotus, entreat Christ God to save our souls.
Kontakion - Tone 3
You denounced the depths of false belief.
With the Orthodox faith you wounded the delusion of idolatry.
As a godly, whole burnt sacrifice,
You refreshed the ends of the earth with your wonders!
O holy hierarch Theodotus, our father,
Entreat Christ God to grant us great mercy!