A great figure in Christian monasticism, Theodore was born in Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey), but began monastic life in Bithynia. He returned to Constantinople to study for the priesthood and in 787 was ordained. In 794, he succeeded his uncle, St. Pluto, as abbot of Sakkoudion, where his ideals and rules had far-reaching influence. He later moved his monks to a Constantinople monastery founded by the Roman consul Studius. Theodore was exiled several times: for opposing an emperor’s divorce and adultery, and also for defending the veneration of sacred images. He supported the authority of the see of Rome, preached brilliantly, and left a trove of writings.