In 304, St. Julitta and her three-year old son, Kerykos, fled to Tarsus to escape the persecutions, but were identified as Christians. Julitta was brought to be tortured, with her son being held by the Governor who directed him to watch his mother’s suffering.
In order to safe her son, Julitta told the Governor that the worship of idols could not be accepted by a three-year old child. However, Kerykos immediately testified to his faith and scratched the Governor’s face. Kerykos was killed by being thrown down some steps. Julitta did not weep but celebrated the fact that her son had earned the crown of martyrdom before her.
Angry, the Governor ordered that Julitta’s sides be ripped apart with hooks, and she was then beheaded. Her body, along with that of her son’s, was flung outside the city, but two maids rescued their bodies and buried them in a nearby field.
Constantine discovered their relics and built a monastery near Constantinople in their memory.
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