St. Golinduc, Martyr, of Persia


Commemorated on July 12

The Holy Martyr Golinduc, in Baptism Mary, lived in Persia during the reign of Chosroes the Elder. She was the wife of the chief magician of the Persian empire. Endowed with a lucid mind, Golinduc perceived the falseness of paganism, and she contemplated over what the True Faith might be. When she learned of Christianity, she wanted to know what it taught. Through the providence of God, her wish was fulfilled. In her sleep, an angel showed St. Golinduc the place of torment for sinners and the paradise in which dwelt the believers in Christ, the true God. After this dream, she began to fervently pray to the true God, so that He might help her become a Christian. The angel of God directed Golinduc to a Christian priest, from whom she received holy Baptism with the name Mary.

After her baptism, she left her magician-husband, who complained to Emperor Chosroes. The emperor himself, and dignitaries sent by him, all urged Golinduc to return to her husband. For her decisive refusal, the emperor sentenced her to be imprisoned for life.

Eighteen years later, an ambassador of the Byzantine Empire named Aristobulus arrived in Persia to greet the new ruler, Ormisdas, who was the son of Emperor Chosroes. Learning that Golinduc had been languishing in prison, Aristobulus repeatedly visited her and taught her to sing the Psalms of David. After Aristobulus’ departure, Ormisdas gave orders to present St. Golinduc before him. He had her tortured, subjecting her to all sorts of beatings and torments. But, through the intercession of God, she was preserved unharmed. When they gave her over for defilement, the Lord made her invisible to the impious and preserved her purity. Finally the emperor gave orders to cut off the martyr’s head, but the Lord sheltered her from the hand of the executioner and delivered her to Christians who were living in hiding.

When the persecution against Christians in Persia ended during the reign of Chosroes II, St. Golinduc began to openly preach the Christian Faith.

At the end of her life, she made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where she prayed at the tomb of the Lord and other holy places. In 591, on her return journey, she died in the Church of the Holy Martyr Sergius at Nisibis.

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