Today’s Saint is one who suffered greatly for his piety and his firm adherence to the faith, Theodore the Studite:
Theodore the Studite (also known as Theodorus Studita, St. Theodore of Stoudios, and St. Theodore of Studium; 759–826) was a Byzantine Greek monk and abbot of the Stoudios monastery in Constantinople. Theodore’s letter, containing suggested monastery reform rules, is the first recorded stand against slavery. He played a major role in the revivals both of Byzantine monasticism and of classical literary genres in Byzantium. He is known as a zealous opponent of iconoclasm, one of several conflicts that set him at odds with both emperor and patriarch.
(The full wiki article on him can be found here)
I first found out about Saint Theodore when I was looking at his contemporary Tarasios, Patriarch of Constantinople. What impressed me about Saint Theodore, and soured me to Tarasios, was the Moechian controversy and how each man responded to it. For those unfamiliar to that bit of history (like I was), here is what happened: The Eastern Emperor, Constantine VI, decided to divorce his wife (and send her off to a convent) and marry his mistress, who happened to be his wife’s lady-in-waiting. The Patriarch of Constantinople, Tarasios, didn’t speak up against this adulterous union. Theodore, on the other hand, did. Theodore demanded the excommunication of the priest who officiated the “wedding”, along with those who received communion from him (which would have included the emperor). After declining an offer from Constantine to make peace (which didn’t include Constantine repenting of his sin), Theodore was seized by imperial troops, flogged and banished.
Reading about that time made me realize how much we need spiritual leaders like Theodore in the Church right now. For Catholics, someone of that stature is needed to decry the abuse of annulments, which have basically become divorces in the Catholic Church. And Protestants could surely use someone willing to call out abuses of their own standards of marriage and divorce. Here is a question that I think we all should ask: how many Christian leaders do you know in the West who would be willing to face torture and banishment for speaking out against the rampant adultery and desecration of marriage that occurs daily?
The number, whatever it is, is not enough.