<In 492/3 Theodosius is chosen by the monks of the desert as archimandrite of all the coenobia in the diocese of Jerusalem. Theodosius dies on 11 January 529, after 50 years of ascetic life “in this desert” - which brings us back to AD 479, though it is not clear whether Cyril fixed this date for Theodosius’ arrival at Metopa, or for his withdrawal to his own cave.>

To the abbacy of Abba Theodosius’ monastery succeeded one Sophronius, who had proved himself excellent in monastic virtues. This Sophronius was an Armenian by birth, from a village called Zomery, which belongs to the (territory of the) metropolis, Sebastia. He left his native country when still a youth and came to Jerusalem, where he frequented many fathers and learnt the virtue and way of life of each, which he impressed in his soul; then he arrived also at the monastery of the blessed Theodosius. And, after he was clothed with the monastic habit and educated in the monastic discipline, he set as root and foundation of his life humility and obedience. And, after he had passed through all the grades of asceticism and had fulfilled many and divers duties in this same monastery, proving himself trustworthy, (Sophronius) became second in command of the monastery (and kept this position) for 15 years. And so, by the choice of the great Abba Theodosius, when he was at the point of death, he received the leadership of the monastery.

This blessed Sophronius had a nephew called Mamas. This Mamas in his youth, owing to an accident, had been castrated by the surgeons; later he had gone to Byzantium and had become valet of the sacred bed-chamber <cubicularius> of the Emperor Anastasius; then by and by he had advanced to the position of Lord Chamberlain <praepositus>. This man brought to the monastery large and untold donations: with these donations Sophronius, now with the saints, increased and extended the monastery four times over, after the death of the blessed Theodosius, and raised from the foundations in this holy monastery a church dedicated to the all-celebrated Mother of God and eternally virgin Mary. But why should I say more? Sophronius’ labours and his achievements are brilliantly manifest in the monastery of blessed Abba Theodosius; for he not only enriched it in estates and annual revenues, but also increased the community living there in Christ three times over; and finally, after he had governed well the monastery for 14 years and two months, he died in joy on March 21 of the fifth indiction <AD 542> …

(transl. Leah Di Segni)

After the death of Theodosius, AD 529, Sophronius becomes abbot of the monastery and builds a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.