A learned monk of the East, Theodore (602-690) was residing in Rome when the English Church, decimated by plague, and torn with strife over rival Celtic and Roman customs, was in need of strong leadership. Theodore provided this for a generation, beginning his episcopate at an age when most people are ready to retire.
After a visitation of the whole of England, he set about reforming the government of the Church by dividing dioceses and extending the episcopate. His effective visitation of all England brought unity to the two strains of tradition among the Anglo-Saxon Christians. For example, he recognized Chad’s worthiness and regularized his episcopal ordination. He presided over synods that brought about reforms, according to canon law. He laid the foundation of parochial organization.
He established a school at Canterbury that gained a reputation for excellence, and where many leaders of both the Irish and the English Churches were trained. Bede recounts, “…every one who desired instruction in the sacred Scriptures had masters at hand to instruct him.”
Theodore was the first archbishop whom all the English obeyed.
Our Father in heaven,
We thank You for the life of Theodore. Bless the visitations of Justin Welby in England. Bless his administrations within the Church of England. May there be masters at hand in the Church of England to instruct all who desire to know sacred Scriptures. Stir a hunger for sacred Scriptures far and wide, we pray. Amen.
Hat tip: SF