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Theotonius, St.


Cofounder of santa cruz monastery in Coimbra; b. Ganfei, Galicia, Portugal, 1082; d. Coimbra, Portugal, Feb. 18, 1162. He received his early education at home. He became a canon and in 1112 prior of the cathedral chapter at Viseu. Two pilgrimages to the Holy Land influenced him to join with his former teacher, the Archdeacon Tello, in the foundation of a new monastery, Santa Cruz. There, by February 1132, the canons regular were following the Rule of St. augustine and the customs of Saint-Ruf. Theotonius, basically a contemplative, was named first prior of the community. He achieved a great reputation for sanctity, and this, with the favor of Portugal's first king, Afonso Henriques, made the monastery famous. Marvelous deeds before and after Theotonius's death led to his canonization on the following February 18 by the provincial council of Coimbra. This decision was confirmed by Pope Alexander III, vive vocis oraculo. The saint's relics were sent from his burial place at Santa Cruz throughout Portugal, where his feast day was celebrated with honor.

Feast: Feb. 18.

Bibliography: Vita sancti Theotonii in Portugaliae monumenta historica, Scriptores 1 (Lisbon 1856) 7988. Vida de S. Teotónio, tr. and ed. m. h. da rocha pereira (Coimbra 1987). nicolao de santa maria, Chronica de Ordem dos Conegos Regrantes do Patriarcha S. Agostino, 2 pt. (Lisbon 1668). e. a. o'malley, Tello and Theotonio: The Twelfth-Century Founders of the Monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra (Washington 1954). Santa Cruz de Coimbra, do século XI ao século XX: estudos no IX Centenário do Nascimento de S. Teotónio (Coimbra 1984). a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4v. (New York 1956) 1:372.

[a. o'malley]

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