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St. Quiteria, Virgin and Martyr

Commemorated on May 22

St. Quiteria was a fifth century virgin martyr and saint. Her name comes from the title that the Phoenicians gave to the goddess Astarte – Kythere, Kyteria, or Kuteria – which means “the red one.” She may have been named after the pagan goddess.

St. Quiteria was the daughter of a Galician prince. Her father wanted her to marry and renounce Christianity, but Quiteria fled. Her father’s men found her at Aire-sur-l’Adour, in Gascony, and she was beheaded on the spot.

The Church of Sainte-Quitterie in Aire-sur-l’Adour is dedicated to her. This church was on the pilgrimage route called the Way of St. James. St. Quiteria was especially venerated in the border region shared by France and Spain, which included Navarre. However, there are many churches dedicated to her in France, Spain, Portugal, and Brazil.

Her relics were buried at Aire-sur-l’Adour, but were scattered by the Huguenots.

By permission of www.orthodoxwiki.org

Icon of the Mother of God of Cyprus

Icon of the Mother of God of CyprusCommemorated on May 22 (also on April 20 and July 9)

In this icon. the Mother of God is depicted sitting on a throne with the Divine Infant in Her arms. There is an angel on either side of Her.

The prototype of this holy icon manifested itself in 392 on the island of Cyprus at the tomb of Righteous Lazarus, the friend of Christ, and is kept there in a monastery. Renowned copies of the Cyprus Icon are at Moscow’s Dormition Cathedral, and in the Nikolo-Golutvin Church in the village of Stromyn outside of Moscow.

During the week of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, the Greek Synaxarion has an account of an icon which is probably the Cyprus Icon. On the island of Cyprus, a certain Arab was passing by a church dedicated to the Most Holy Theotokos. In order to display his hatred for Christianity, the man shot an arrow at an icon of the Mother of God which hung by the gate. The arrow struck the Virgin’s face, from which blood began to flow. Overcome with fear, the Arab spurred his horse and rode for home, but was struck dead before he could get there. In this way, he was punished for his impiety.

Other days commemorating the Cyprus Icon are the Day of the Holy Spirit, April 20, and July 9. Some copies of the Cyprus Icon have additional names such as “Cleansing,” “Knife,” and “Hawk.”

St. Helen, Mother of Emperor Constantine, Equal of the Apostles

St. Helen, Equal to the ApostlesCommemorated on May 21

St. Helen was the mother of St. Constantine the Great, and was born at Drepanum (Helenopolis) in Asia Minor to parents of humble means. She married Constantius Chlorus, and their son Constantine was born in 274. Constantius divorced her in 294 in order to further his political ambitions by marrying a woman of noble rank. After he became emperor, Constantine showed his mother great honor and respect, granting her the imperial title “Augusta.”

After St. Constantine became the sole ruler of the Western Roman Empire, he issued the Edict of Milan in 313 which guaranteed religious tolerance for Christians. St. Helen, who was a Christian, may have influenced him in this decision. In 323, when he became the sole ruler of the entire Roman Empire, he extended the provisions of the Edict of Milan to the Eastern half of the Empire. After three hundred years of persecution, Christians could finally practice their faith without fear.

The emperor deeply revered the victory-bearing Sign of the Cross of the Lord, and wanted to find the actual Cross upon which our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified. He sent his mother, Helen, to Jerusalem, providing her with a letter to St. Macarius, Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Icon of the Vladimir Mother of God

Commemorated on May 21 (also on June 23 and August 26)

The Celebration of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God was established to commemorate the deliverance of Moscow from an invasion of Tatars led by Khan Makhmet-Girei in 1521. The Tatar hordes approached Moscow, burning and destroying Russian cities and villages, and killing their inhabitants.

Great Prince Basil raised an army against the Tatars, while His Eminence Metropolitan BARLAAM and the people of Moscow prayed fervently. At this same time a pious blind nun had a vision. She saw Moscow’s bishop-saints exiting from the Kremlin’s Savior Gates, abandoning the city and taking with them the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God, the holiest object in Moscow. This was God’s punishment for the sins of Moscow’s citizens.

At the Savior Gates the holy hierarchs were met by Sts. Sergius of Radonezh and Barlaam of Khutyn who tearfully urging them not to leave Moscow. All of them offered intense prayers to the Lord for the forgiveness of their sins and the deliverance of Moscow from its enemies. After these prayers, the bishop-saints returned to the Kremlin, and they carried back the holy Vladimir Icon.

St. Basil the Blessed saw a similar vision. It was revealed to him that Moscow would be saved, through the intercession of the Theotokos and the prayers of the saints. The Tatar Khan also had a vision of the Mother of God with a fearsome host, contending against his forces. The Tatars fled in fear, and the capital of Russia was saved.

Icon of the Mother of God "Tenderness"

Mother of God: TendernessCommemorated on May 21 (also on October 7)

The Pskov Caves “Tenderness” Icon of the Mother of God was written and brought to the Pskov Caves Monastery through the efforts of two local merchants, Basil and Theodore, in 1521. It was glorified by miracles of healing in 1524. This holy icon and also the Dormition Icon were glorified in 1581 during the siege of Pskov by Polish King Stephen Bathory.

The icon is also commemorated on October 7 in memory of the deliverance of Pskov from the invasion of Napoleon in 1812.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)

St. Lydia of Philippisia

Commemorated on May 20

St. Lydia of Philippisia was born in Asia Minor in the city of Thiatira in the first century. Looking for work, she traveled to the city of Philippi in Greek Macedonia. St. Luke writes that St. Lydia was a “porfiropolis,” that is a merchant of purple cloth, an expensive type of Roman clothing. She was also a religious woman, showing great respect to the pagan gods. However, the One True God decided to make her the first Christian in Greece, and the first Christian in Europe .

During this same time, St. Paul was preaching in the area of Troy when he had a dream. In it, a man told him, “Come to Macedonia and help us.” St. Paul, along with Silas, traveled to Philippi through Samothrace. At the Gaggitis River, they discovered a crowd praying to the pagan gods. Leading the group in prayer was St. Lydia.

After learning from St. Paul of Our Savior Jesus Christ, St. Lydia was baptized in the Gaggitis River and many idolaters became Christians. St. Lydia made her home a place for Christian meetings. She converted her family as well as many in the area to Christianity through her teachings.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)

Unless the Lord Comes to Us: Advent Reflections

By Virginia Nieuwsma

“Unless the Lord comes to us, we are completely helpless.”
--St. Maximos, Greek ascetic, the 4th Century

It is November 16 as I write this. My mailbox is now brimming every day with glossy catalogs proclaiming the virtues of the triumphant, capitalistic existence of comfort and indulgence that we have all imbibed to one degree or another.

Yet on this second day of the Orthodox Advent season, I am acutely aware of my spiritual poverty. I have charged through my days heedless, as the mellowed northern California fall sun has illumined a fiery display of gold and magenta, flaming orange and russet red. Glory to God! the colors have shouted, but most of the time I have been too busy to stop and notice. My cell phone rings, my car needs gas, my errand list is a mile long, my work beckons, and my children need rides or tutoring or food. Squeezing in morning prayers here and there and attending church on Sunday, I nod to God before getting back to the “real” business at hand.

Sometimes I am running from Him, burying myself with my busyness because I don’t want to be alone with Him. I’m avoiding the silence of prayer and time spent before our icons, because it is there that I confront myself stripped away of any false pretense of piety. This confrontation with my sin and hard heartedness is painful; indeed, trying to practice the disciplines of the Church in the midst of Christmas season is definitely an uphill climb! I don’t want to think about fasting, or almsgiving, or being more consistent in prayer. When I first turned over my calendar this year and saw the November 15 date, my first thought was that I simply didn’t have the strength or the desire to enter into the fast this year.

Building an Orthodox Christian Home

By Virginia Nieuwsma


Kicking off my sandals and lowering myself into one of the rental company’s wooden chairs, I took in the sights and sounds of our daughter’s wedding reception. Our son-in-law and daughter were standing under the birch trees, juggling our grandson; godchildren danced after bubbles blown in the breeze; beloved clergy were chatting across a table; relatives and friends from as far away as England had joined us. A second stellar son-in-law was joining our family, and our other five children were there with us to participate as bridesmaids, a groomsman, a ring bearer, and a photographer, and all we could do was thank God for His mercy.


Yet the day flew by in a flurry of activity, and before we knew it, Tim and I were standing in our kitchen at one in the morning, surveying the damage—mountains of food to be stored, glasses and streamers and half-full plastic bubble bottles everywhere, our checkbook emptied of checks and cash, and our feet and backs aching. Not for the first time, it occurred to me that this event was a snapshot of Orthodox family life today. That is, those brief moments of achievement and accomplishment, while joyous and deeply satisfying, don’t happen without a ton of hard work!

Glorification of Ss. Sosana and Zabulon, Parents of St. Nino

Ss. Nino, Zabulon and SosanaCommemorated on May 20

According to Holy Tradition, St. Nino and Great-martyr George were blood relatives. At the same time as St. George’s martyrdom, a nobleman, Zabulon, arrived in Rome from Cappadocia. Zabulon began to serve in the emperor’s army, and before long was widely recognized as a courageous cavalryman and fine soldier.

During a battle with the Franks, the Lord granted victory to Zabulon – the Frankish king and his suite were captured and delivered to the Roman emperor. The emperor sentenced them to death, but before they were executed they confessed their desire to be baptized into the Christian Faith. Zabulon relayed this to the emperor, with Zabulon himself becoming their godfather. Zabulon then pleaded with the emperor to have mercy on his godchildren, and the emperor set them free.

Nearly all the Franks were converted to Christianity as a result of Zabulon’s struggles on behalf of the Faith. A ninth-century Georgian hymnographer wrote, “Zabulon converted Gaul with his sword, and Blessed Nino converted Georgia with the Life-giving Cross.”

Some time later, St. Zabulon journeyed to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage. While there, he distributed all his possessions to the poor and began to serve Patriarch Juvenal of Jerusalem. He met Sosana (Susanna), the sister of the patriarch, and they were married shortly thereafter.

St. Theotima, Martyr, of Nicomedia

Ss. Patrikios and TheotimaCommemorated on May 19

No information available at this time.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)

Entrance of St. Nino the Enlightener into Georgia

St. Nino, Enlightener of GeorgiaCommemorated on May 19

The holy Apostles Andrew the First-called and Simon the Canaanite preached the Christian Faith in Georgia in the first century, but by the fourth century, the country had reverted to paganism.

After the Theotokos revealed God’s will for the country’s future, Equal-to-the-Apostles Nino set off for Georgia to enlighten the Iberian people. She arrived in Armenia with the holy martyrs and virgins Rhipsimia, Gaiana and their fifty companions. The holy virgins were martyred in Armenia and, according to God’s will, St. Nino journeyed on alone to Lake Paravani, entering Georgia from the Javakheti Mountains. She arrived in the spring, but the weather was unseasonably cold.

The Apostolic Church of Georgia has honored the Entrance of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Nino as a major feast day. The Church also commemorates St. Nino on January 14, the day of her repose.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)

St. Tecusa, Virginmartyr, along with Sts. Alexandra, Tecusa, Claudia, Phaine, Euphrasia, Matrona, and Julia

Commemorated on May 18

St. Tecusa was the aunt of St. Theodotus of Ancyra. She was the eldest of seven holy virgins who had dedicated themselves to Christ at an early age, living in constant prayer, fasting, temperance and good deeds. They were drowned in a lake at an advanced age.

The following night after their martyrdom, St. Tecusa appeared to St. Theodotus in a dream, asking him to take her body for Christian burial. St. Theodotus went to the lake, taking his friend Polychronius and several other Christians with him. It was dark, and a torch illumined their way. The holy martyr Sosander appeared in front of the guard who had been posted there by the pagan authorities. Seeing him, the frightened guard ran off.

The Christians found the bodies of the holy martyrs and carried them to the church, where they were buried. St. Theodotus was martyred for Christ on June 7, 303 or 304, but he is also commemorated on May 18, when the holy virgins were executed.

The account of the life and martyrdom of St. Theodotus and the suffering of the holy virgins was compiled by Nilus, a contemporary and companion of St. Theodotus. Nilus lived in the city of Ancyra during the persecution of Christians under Emperor Diocletian, and witnessed the saints’ deaths.

Troparion (Tone 4):

St. Tagine of Georgia, Mother of Martyrs Davit and Tarichan

Commemorated on May 18

Ss. Davit and Tarichan were born to Vardan and Tagine, pious Christians and relatives of the king. Vardan died while his sons were still young, and Tagine’s pagan brother, Theodosius, seized the family’s possessions.

Concerned that the brothers would eventually claim their legal inheritance, Theodosius became determined to convert his sister and nephews to paganism. “Leave behind the Faith of the crucified Christ and receive mine, and I will adopt your children,” he told Tagine. But Tagine firmly guarded the family against her brother’s evilness. “It is enough that you have seized my sons’ estates,” she said. “But you cannot seize the inheritance they will receive from their Father in heaven!”

Theodosius was thwarted by his sister’s resoluteness, so he tried to convert his nephews directly. He called them to him, embraced them warmly, and tempted them with sweets. “Now you are my sons, and everything I have belongs to you,” he told them. “Trust me like obedient sons of a beloved father. Turn from the Faith of your father, and I will show you a better way!”

The holy youths answered, “We are perfectly content with our father’s Faith and will remain loyal to this Faith until the day our souls depart from our flesh. We are prepared to suffer everything for the love of our Lord and Heavenly Father!”

St. Christina of Ancyra, Virginmartyr, who suffered under Emperor Decius

Commemorated on May 18

St. Christina suffered under Emperor Decius in the third century. She watched the trial of Dionysius, Nikomachus, and two soldiers, Andrew and Paul, who had been transferred from Mesopotamia. They all confessed their faith in Christ and refused to offer sacrifice to the idols, so they were tortured. To the great sorrow of the Christians, Nikomachus did not persevere. He denied the Lord Jesus Christ, and entered a pagan temple to offer sacrifice to the idols. He fell down in a terrible frenzy and died foaming at the mouth, tearing the skin from his body with his teeth.

The sixteen-year-old Christina who was standing nearby shouted, “You cursed and lost man! Instead of enduring pain for a single hour, you have made yourself worthy of eternal torment!” Hearing this, the prefect gave orders to seize the holy virgin. Learning that she was a Christian, he gave her over to dissolute men for their pleasure.

An angel appeared at the house where the men had taken St. Christina. Frightened by the terrible vision, the men tearfully begged her to forgive them and asked her to pray that the Lord not punish them.

The following morning, Sts Dionysius, Andrew and Paul were again brought before the prefect. For confessing their faith in Christ, they were given to the pagans to be put to death. They bound the saints by the feet, dragged them to the place of execution, and stoned them to death.

St. Junia, martyred along with the Seventy

Ss. Andronicus, Junia and AthanasiosCommemorated on May 17

Ss. Junia and Andronicus of the Seventy were relatives of the holy Apostle Paul. They traveled extensively and preached the Gospel to pagans. St. Paul mentions them in his Epistle to the Romans: “Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and fellow prisoners, who are of note among the Apostles, who also were in Christ, before me” (Romans 16:7).

St. Andronicus was made Bishop of Pannonia, but his preaching also took him and St. Junia to other lands, far from the boundaries of their diocese. Through the efforts of Sts. Andronicus and Junia, the Church of Christ was strengthened with pagans being converted to Christianity. Many of the pagan temples were closed, and in their place Christian churches were built. The service in honor of these saints states that they suffered martyrdom for Christ.

In the fifth century, during the reigns of Emperors Arcadius and Honorius, these saints’ holy relics were uncovered on the outskirts of Constantinople together with the relics of other martyrs at the Gate of Eugenius.

It was revealed to the pious cleric, Nicholas Kalligraphos, that among the relics of these martyrs were the relics of the holy Apostle Andronicus. Afterwards, a magnificent church was built on this spot.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)

St. Euphrosyne, Princess of Moscow

St. Euphrosyne, Princess of MoscowCommemorated on May 17 (also on July 7)

St. Euphrosyne (in the world Eudokia) was the daughter of Prince Demetrius Constantovich and was the wife of Moscow Great Prince Demetrius of the Don. Their happy union brought a pledge of unity and peace between Moscow and Suzdal.

St. Alexis, Metropolitan of Moscow, and even St. Sergius of Radonezh, who baptized one of the sons of Demetrius and Eudokia, had a great influence upon the spiritual life of Princess Eudokia. St. Demetrius of Priluki was the godfather of another son.

St. Euphrosyne was a builder of churches. In 1387 she founded the Ascension Women’s Monastery in the Moscow Kremlin. In 1395, during Tamerlane’s invasion into the southern part of Russia, the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God was transferred to Moscow upon her advice, miraculously defending the Russian land. During Great Lent, the princess secretly wore chains beneath her splendid royal garb. By her patronage, the famous icon of the Archangel Michael was written and later became the patronal icon of the Archangel Cathedral in the Kremlin.

After raising five sons, the princess was tonsured as a nun with the name Euphrosyne. She completed her earthly journey on July 7, 1407 and was buried in the Ascension Monastery that she founded.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)

St. Musa of Rome

St. Musa of RomeCommemorated on May 16

St. Musa lived during the fifth century and was distinguished for her pure life. St. Gregory Dialogus included her story in his DIALOGUES, saying that he had been given the information by Musa’s brother, Probus.

The Most Holy Theotokos once appeared to Musa in a dream, surrounded by girls who were dressed in white. She asked her, “Do you wish to live together with these maidens in my court?” “Yes, I do,” the girl replied.

The Holy Mother then said, “Do not do anything silly, as little girls often do. Avoid frivolity and joking. In thirty days I shall come for you and you will be with us.”

From that moment, Musa’s character was changed. She began to pray and live a strict life. In answer to the questions of her astonished parents, St. Musa told them about the vision.

On the twenty-fifth day, the maiden developed a fever, and on the thirtieth day she again saw the Mother of God coming to her with the same girls as before. The blessed child died with the words, “I am coming, I am coming to you, my Lady!”

St. Musa departed this earthly life and was gathered into the heavenly Kingdom, where she glorifies the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit unto ages of ages.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)

St. Crescentia at Lucania

Commemorated on May 16 (also on June 15)

St. Crescentia suffered for Christ in 303 during the reign of Emperor Diocletian, along with the holy martyrs Vitus and Modestus. She was the governess of St. Vitus, and tried to save the boy when his father wanted to kill him because he would not abandon his faith in Christ.

St. Crescentia and the boy’s tutor, St. Modestus, who were also Christian, secretly took the boy from his parental home. They found a boat at the river, with an angel entering the boat with them. They reached the Italian district of Lucanium, where the saints lived quietly, hiding from those who sought to persecute them. The holy youth continued to heal the sick and convert pagans to Christianity, with his fame soon spreading throughout the region.

Sts. Vitus and Modestus were arrested and thrown into prison, with Diocletian ordering that they both be tortured. St. Crescentia came out of the crowd and confessed that she was also a Christian. She reproached the emperor for his cruelty, and he sentenced her to be tortured along with the others.

St. Vitus called out to God, “O God, save us by Thy power and deliver us.” An earthquake then struck the city, and many pagans died beneath the collapsed buildings. Diocletian fled in fear. An angel released the martyrs and took them to Lucanium.

St. Dymphna, Martyr, in Belgium

Commemorated on May 15

St. Dymphna was the daughter of a pagan king of Ireland, but became a Christian and was secretly baptized. After the death of her mother, who was known for her beauty, her father offered his own hand in marriage to his daughter. However, Dymphna ran away with the assistance of a priest, Gerebernus. Landing in Antwerp, Belgium, they traveled to the village of Gheel, where they lived near a local chapel.

In 650, St. Dymphna’s father found her and renewed his offer of marriage. Realizing that she would never accept him in this way, he demanded that Fr. Gerebernus be killed. Dymphna received a martyr’s crown when her father cut off her head with a sword.

The bodies were placed in coffins and entombed in a cave where they were later found by local Christians. Eventually, the relics of St. Dymphna were buried in the church at Gheel, while St. Gerebernus was buried in Kanten.

In Christian art, St. Dymphna is depicted with a sword in her hand and a devil at her feet. She has been invoked as the patroness against insanity. The church where Dymphna was buried in Gheel (25 miles from Antwerp) was destroyed by a fire in 1489. A new church was consecrated on the same site in 1532 and still stands to this day.

By permission of www.orthodoxwiki.org

December 17, 2008 + Christmas Meditation

by Metropolitan PHILIP

from The Word, December 1970

Lord,

What shall I offer you on your birthday in return for your infinite love?
I have neither gold nor silver, neither myrrh nor frankincense.
My house is without a roof.  I have no room for you; not even a manger.
My soul is even darker than the clouds of my passion.
My eyes are too dim to look beyond the horizon of myself.
Help me behold your bright star; "For in thy light we shall see light."

Lord,

You have been knocking on my door for thirty-nine years, but I never dared let you in because my garment is not white as snow.
Forgive me if I do not invite you to my table, for my table is full of everything you despise.  I have denied you more than Peter.
I have doubted you more than Thomas.
I have betrayed you more than Judas.
My hands are empty.  My lips are not clean to sing your praise.
And my heart is wrinkled with sorrow like a withered leaf under autumn's wind.

Lord,

The only thing I can offer you on your birthday is myself.
Drown me in the ocean of your love.
Feed me with your heavenly bread, for the bread of this world will never satisfy my hunger.
Quench my thirst with your divine fountain, for the water of this earth will never satisfy my thirst.
Give me your eyes to see what you see, your ears to hear what you hear and your heart to love what you love.
Take me with you to Mount Tabor and let me bathe in your eternal light.

Lord,

Icon of the Mother of God "Sweet-Kissing"

Commemorated on May 14

This icon comes from the 17th century and was written in the Glykophilousa style. The Theotokos is seen bending over to tenderly embrace and kiss her Divine Son. Christ is seen bending his head back and bringing his cheek to rest up against His mother’s cheek. His left hand is resting in her open palm. The relationship between the two shows not only reverence, but intimacy and respect.

By permission of www.orthodoxwiki.org

Icon of the Mother of God of Chelnsk and Pskov Caves

Commemorated on May 14

In the city of Yaroslavl, the townswoman Alexandra Dobychkina suffered for seventeen years from emotional and bodily illness. In 1823, she saw in a dream a church with an icon of the Mother of God. She decided to seek out the Yaroslavl temple and icon she had seen in the vision.

This church turned out to be the temple in honor of the Procession of the Venerable Wood of the Cross of the Lord (August 1), under the belltower of the archbishop's residence. Entering the church, the afflicted Alexandra saw on the wall the depiction of the Kiev Caves Mother of God. Suddenly she had a powerful attack of fever, after which there was some relief at first, and later a full healing from the grievous illness.

From that time, miraculous healings took place when people prayed to the Most Holy Theotokos.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)

St. Glyceria, Virginmartyr, of Novgorod

Commemorated on May 13

Righteous Virgin Glyceria of Novgorod was the daughter of Panteleimon, a starets from Novgorod.

She died in 1522. According to the second Novgorod Chronicle, her incorrupt relics were uncovered on July 14, 1572 near the stone church of Sts. Florus and Laurus. Archbishop Leonid of Novgorod buried the holy relics in this church. During her interment, healings occurred at the relics of the saint.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)

St. Glyceria, Virginmartyr, at Heraclea

Virgin Martyr GlyceriaCommemorated on May 13

St. Glyceria suffered as a martyr for her faith in Christ in the second century during the persecutions against Christians under Emperor Antoninus. She came from an illustrious family, and her father, Macarius, was a high-ranking Roman official. Later, the family moved to the Thracian city of Trajanopolis.

St. Glyceria lost both her father and mother at an early age. Befriending some Christians, she converted to the true Faith and visited the church every day. Sabinus, the prefect of Trajanopolis, received the imperial edict ordering Christians to offer sacrifice to idols, and designated a certain day for the citizens to worship the idol, Zeus.

St. Glyceria made firm her decision to suffer for Christ. She told her fellow Christians of her intentions and begged them to pray that the Lord would give her the strength to undergo suffering. On the appointed day, St. Glyceria made the Sign of the Cross on her forehead and went to the pagan temple.

The saint stood on a raised spot in the rays of the sun, and removed the veil from her head, showing the holy Cross traced on her forehead. She prayed fervently to God to bring the pagans to their senses and destroy the stone idol of Zeus. Suddenly, thunder was heard, and the statue of Zeus crashed to the floor and smashed into little pieces.

St. Rictrudis of France

Commemorated on May 12

St. Rictrudis was born in Gascony, France in the seventh century. She married St. Adalbald, by whom she had four children and who all became saints: Maurontius, Eusebia, Clotsindis and Adalsindis.

After her husband was murdered by her relatives, she became a nun and founded the convent of Marchiennes in the north of France.

She fell asleep in the Lord on May 12, 688.

By permission of www.orthodoxwiki.org

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