The Saint was from Mytilene, was married, and had children. One day he got angry at some event, and he denied Christ and became a muslim.
When he sensed what he had done, he repented, left his home and went to the Holy Mountain. There he remained for a period of time, confessed, did his canon, and was annointed with the Holy Chrism and received the Spotless Mysteries. Straightaway with the prayer of his spiritual father he returned to his home. He went to the judge and asked him:
“If someone is wronged or cheated, can he take back what is his?”
“Of course he can.” replied the judge.
And the Saint replied: “I had my faith, which is good and pure as gold, my nous was darkened by the devil, I was deceived and left it and took yours to be better. Now I have come to myself and I see that my faith is the good gold and that yours is brass."
“You crazy man, what are you doing? Are you out of your mind?”
“No” the Saint replied, “I'm in my right mind and I know what I'm doing."
Then the judge ordered them to lock him in prison and later brought him back in front of him a second and third time, trying to return him to islam in various ways.
Seeing that he however remained steadfast and immovable with Christ, he ordered him to be sent to the aga of the area. The aga tried himself to get him to return with many ways, flatteries and promises, but he was unable. The Saint remained steadfast and responded with the same words:
“I laughed, I saw my faith, the good gold and took yours, the copper. Now I have come to my senses and I confess that I am a Christian. My name is Theodore.”
Then the executioners seized him, they beat him hard, they hit him with a knife on his thigh and they hanged him from the stairs of Saragiou. They lifted him back up and led him to the place of execution without him showing any opposition. Instead he had a joyous face and spoke with his executioners, as if his imminent death was not death for him but another joy.
“Have you understood?” they asked him, “We are going to hang you.”
And he responded with joy: “And where is the rope?”
The executions immediately gave him the rope. He took it, kissed it, and put it around his neck. “Now take me wherever you wish.”
The crier went out front and cried: “Whoever denies his faith will suffer these.”
They lead him to Parmak Kapi, where, having prayed, he asked forgiveness from those Christians standing by, and ascended a rock by himself to the executioners, who hanged him.
The Church of St. John is in the area of Vareia. In the year 1967 during the excavation of the new church the bones of the Saint were found.
360 Panorama of the interior of the Church of Zoothochou Pigi available here: http://www.pigizois.net/kato.htm. More info: http://www.pigizois.net/enoria/enoria.htm. May St. Theodore intercede for us all and help us!
Apolytikion of St. Theodore Hatzi the New Martyr in the Fourth Tone (amateur translation)
From Lesvos you sprouted and struggled manly in it, O Theodore for Christ God, and worthily were glorified. Therefore finding your holy relics, O Neomartyr, we the faithful receive grace from them and glorify Christ Who crowned you.
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!