The Holy Blessed Prince Theodore was the son of the Smolensk Prince Rostislav Mstislavovich and came from the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir. It is believed that Prince Theodore was born between 1240 and 1245. According to the testimony of his life writer, the prince from a young age was raised in piety and taught the divine dogmas, which his heart filled with love.
Theodore had two brothers, Gleb and Mikhail, who, after the death of his father, offended him, giving him only the city of Mozhaisk as his inheritance. Theodore was not angry with the brothers and patiently owned this destiny. In those days, Mozhaisk was still a very young, poor and sparsely populated town with a small district and surrounding villages. But Theodore accepted the lot of money, thinking most of all about the acquisition of the treasure of the ugly, incorrupt, eternal.
In a short time, the smart and kind prince managed to make his destiny both human and poor, for which he deserved the reverent love of the people. Around 1267, Prince Theodore married the Rostov Princess Maria Vasilievna, after which he took possession of the city of Yaroslavl. After the death of his brother Michael, he also inherited the Smolensk principality, piously and God-pleasingly living in Yaroslavl.
In those days, the times of the Tatar yoke, there was a custom for the Russian princes to travel to Horde for approval in princely dignity. The Yaroslavl prince Theodore also went there with numerous gifts for the Khan and his wife. In the Order, he was received very favorably and served at the court of Khan as a very respected favorite. The courageous beauty and mind of him captivated the wife of the khan incredibly, and she wished to pass off her daughter for him. But Theodore did not accept her offer, saying that he has a wife in Yaroslavl.
Having asked himself from Khan for approval to the principality in Yaroslavl and having received this, the faithful prince Theodore left Horde home. Arriving in Yaroslavl, he found out that his wife had passed away. Theodore wanted to enter the city where his son Michael and mother-in-law lived at that time, but the boyar and mother-in-law did not let him in, saying: « We are not in custom, — they said, — take to our princes coming from a foreign land; it’s enough for us to have the heir to Theodore, Michael » as our prince.
Saint Theodore again went to the Horde to ask for Khan, but again the Yaroslavl did not let the prince into the city. And again, the wife of Khan married her daughter for Theodore. But now the khan himself did not agree to give his daughter to a foreigner. A lot of time passed before the permitted wedding took place, and the Khan's daughter after baptism received the name Anna.
The bride and groom lived in the Order, and Prince Theodore was respected and loved by Khan. Theodore and Anna had two sons — David and Konstantin. Soon Theodore received news that his Russian son Michael had passed away, and Theodore began to ask the khan to let him go to Russian land with the princess and sons.
The Holy Prince arrived in Yaroslavl with great honor and princely in his city of Yaroslavl piously and God-pleasing until his old age. Having fallen ill and feeling that this disease — is dying, he called the Princess-wife and his children to him and bequeathed to them to abide in love and peace. Then he ordered himself to be taken to the monastery and there he gladly accepted the foreign image from the abbot and throughout that day he rejoiced and thanked God for, that He honored him with this gift, which his soul had long desired.
Theodore died in 1299. He was buried in the temple of the Transfiguration of the Lord. His son and successor, Prince David, died in 1321, and the year of the death of Prince Constantine was not exactly set. The bodies of the sons, according to their desire expressed by them during their lifetime, were laid near the body of their father, in a crypt under the arches of the temple, not in the earth, but on top of it in tombs.