Theodora, a Greek empress was the wife of the nefarious Emperor Theophilus the iconoclast. After the death of Theophilus, Theodora became the ruling empress and reigned together with her son Michael III. At the Council in Constantinople (842 A.D.), she immediately restored the veneration of icons. On this occasion, the Feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy was instituted which is still celebrated today on the First Sunday of the Honorable Fast [First Sunday in Lent]. This holy and meritorious woman of the Church gave up her soul to God on February 11, 867 A.D. It was at that time, by the divine and wonderful Providence of God, at the solemn triumph of Orthodoxy over all heresies, that St. Cyril and St. Methodius were sent as Christian missionaries to the Slavs.
THE VENERATION OF ICONS
To what, in such a manner, do you my Christian bow,
When you, O my Christian, venerate the icons?
Before the Living God the Creator, I am bowing down,
With all my soul, heart and mind, I bow down to Him.
Mortal am I and, am unable upon Him to gaze,
Therefore, before His image I bow;
What, my Christian, do you so fervently reverence,
When, the icon O my Christian, you kiss?
Christ the God and Savior, I am kissing,
The choirs of angels, the saints and the Mother of God.
Mortal am I and, therefore am unable them to touch,
But when their images I kiss, my heart is at ease.