40 Women Martyrs at Heraclea, in Thrace
Commemorated on September 1
The 40 Holy Virgins and St. Ammoun the Deacon were from Adrianopolis in Macedonia. Deacon Ammoun was their guide in Christian faith. They were captured by Baudos, the pagan governor, and were tortured because they would not offer sacrifice to idols.
The holy martyrs endured many cruel torments, which were intended to force them to renounce Christ and worship the pagan gods. Later, they were sent to Heraklea in Thrace to appear before the tyrant Licinius. However, the valiant martyrs remained unshakeable.
St. Ammoun and eight of the virgins were beheaded, ten virgins were burned, six of them died after heated metal balls were put into their mouths, six were stabbed with knives, and the rest were struck in the mouth and stabbed in the heart with swords.
By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)