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St. Febronia

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  • Thomas P
    Oriental Orthodox: The Martyrdom of Saint Febronia the Ascetic. On this day, St. Febronia, the ascetic virgin, was martyred. This saint was the niece of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 27, 2004
      Oriental Orthodox:
      The Martyrdom of Saint Febronia the Ascetic.
      On this day, St. Febronia, the ascetic virgin, was martyred. This
      saint was the niece of the superior of a convent that had fifty
      virgins, in a place called "Ouryana" in Mesopotamia. Her aunt brought
      her up in the fear of God and taught her the reading of the Holy
      Books. St. Febronia vowed herself to the Lord Christ, and she fought
      the good fight by asceticism, fasting for two days at a time, and
      unceasing in her prayers.

      When Emperor Diocletian issued his edict to worship idols, many
      Christians were martyred by his hands. When the virgins heard that,
      they were afraid and left the convent and went into hiding. None was
      left in the convent except St. Febronia, another sister and the

      On the following day, the envoys of the Emperor came, seized the
      abbess, and humiliated her. St. Febronia said to them, "Take me and
      set free this old woman." But they took her as well, bound in ropes,
      and brought them to the Governor. At that time she was twenty years
      old, and was attractive. The Governor asked her to worship the idols
      and promised her many things but she refused. He ordered that she be
      beaten with rods, and her dress to be torn off. The abbess cried out
      to him saying, "May God rip you up, O wild beast, for you want to put
      to shame this young orphan girl." The Governor was wrathful, and
      ordered St. Febronia to be squeezed by the wheel, and to comb her
      body with an iron comb until her flesh was completely torn. During
      all that, she prayed to the Lord asking for help. He then cut out her
      tongue and smashed her teeth so that she could not pray. But the Lord
      strengthened her and comforted her.

      Finally, the Governor ordered her head cut off, and she received the
      crown of martyrdom. A righteous man took her body and shrouded it
      with costly shrouds, and placed it in a golden box. May her prayers
      be with us. Amen.


      Eastern Orthodox:
      She was the daughter of Prosphorus, a Roman senator. In order to
      escape marriage with a mortal man, she betrothed herself to Christ
      and became a nun in the East, in Assyria, in a monastery where her
      aunt, Bryaena, was abbess. Lysimachus, a nobleman's son, was desirous
      of entering into marriage with Fevronia, but the Emperor Diocletian,
      suspecting him of being a secret Christian, sent him to the East with
      his uncle, Silenus, to seize and kill the Christians. Silenus was as
      ferocious as a wild beast and mercilessly exterminated the Christians
      wherever he could. Lysimachus, on the contrary, protected the
      Christians whenever possible and hid them from his bestial uncle.
      Having emptied Palmyra of Christians, Silenus came to the city of
      Nisibis, close to which there was the monastery of fifty ascetic
      virgins in which Fevronia was a nun. Although she was barely twenty
      years old, Fevronia was held in respect both in the monastery and in
      the city for her meekness, wisdom and restraint. The monastery
      followed the rule of a former abbess, Blessed Platonida, and every
      Friday the nuns would spend their time in prayer and reading sacred
      books, with no other work. Bryaena had appointed Fevronia to read to
      the other sisters while standing behind a curtain, so that no-one
      would be distracted or captivated by the beauty of her face. When
      Silenus heard about Fevronia, he ordered that she be brought before
      him. When the holy maiden refused to renounce Christ and enter into
      marriage with a mortal man, he ordered them to whip her and then cut
      off her hands, breasts and feet and finally to slay her with the
      sword. But a fearful divine punishment came upon her tormentor that
      very day. n demon entered into him, and a fearful terror took hold of
      him. In his terror, he struck his head on a marble pillar and fell
      down dead. Lysimachus ordered that Fevronia's body be gathered
      together and brought to the monastery for solemn burial, and he,
      together with many of the soldiers, was baptised. Many healings were
      wrought through Fevronia's holy relics, and she herself appeared on
      the day of her Feast, standing in her usual place among the sisters.
      They beheld her with both fear and joy. St Fevronia suffered and went
      to eternal blessedness in the year 310, and her relics were
      translated to Constantinople in 363. [From "The Prologue from
      Ochrid", by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic]

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