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Saint Theodora was married to the last of the Iconoclast Byzantine emperors, Theophilus, who reigned from a.d. 829 to 842. His death closed the second part of this 116-year stormy period of persecution of those who honored the holy icons, and the wholesale destruction of icons wherever they were found in the Byzantine Empire. The Emperor Theophilus’ son, Michael III, who was then just four years old, became the next emperor under a regency council headed by his mother, the Empress Theodora. They convoked a council in Constantinople that finally restored the veneration of icons in the Holy Church, reaffirming the edicts of the Seventh Ecumenical Council of Nicea that promoted this veneration as most needful for our salvation.
Saint Theodora started the celebration of this feast of the Restoration of the Holy Icons, which is celebrated to this day on the first Sunday of Great Lent, and is called the Triumph of Orthodoxy. After her son grew up, Saint Theodora retired to a convent to live out her life in peace and repentance, until God called her to His Eternal and Everlasting Kingdom in about a.d. 867.
|Church Feast Day 1
20th c. (Late)