Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Holy Martyr Tatiana of Rome

St. Tatiana the Roman (Feast Day - January 12)

Verses

The always bright skull of Tatiana,
Brought on a bright crown by the sword.
On the twelfth Tatiana was beheaded.

The Holy Virgin Martyr Tatiana was born into an illustrious Roman family, and her father was elected consul three times. He was secretly a Christian and raised his daughter to be devoted to God and the Church. When she reached the age of maturity, Tatiana decided to remain a virgin, betrothing herself to Christ. Disdaining earthly riches, she sought instead the imperishable wealth of Heaven. She was made a deaconess in one of the Roman churches and served God in fasting and prayer, tending the sick and helping the needy.

When Rome was ruled by the sixteen-year-old Alexander Severus (222-235), all power was concentrated in the hands of the regent Ulpian, an evil enemy and persecutor of Christians. Christian blood flowed like water. Tatiana was also arrested, and they brought her into the Temple of Apollo to force her to offer sacrifice to the idol. The Saint began praying, and suddenly there was an earthquake. The idol was smashed into pieces, and part of the temple collapsed and fell down on the pagan priests and many pagans. The demon inhabiting the idol fled screeching from that place. Those present saw its shadow flying through the air.

Then they tore Holy Virgin's eyes out with hooks, but she bravely endured everything, praying for her tormentors that the Lord would open their spiritual eyes. And the Lord heard the prayer of His servant. The executioners saw four angels encircle the Saint and beat her tormentors. A voice was heard from the heavens speaking to the Holy Virgin. Eight men believed in Christ and fell on their knees before Tatiana, begging them to forgive them their sin against her. For confessing themselves Christians they were tortured and executed, receiving Baptism by blood.



The next day Tatiana was brought before the wicked judge. Seeing her completely healed of all her wounds, they stripped her and beat her, and slashed her body with razors. A wondrous fragrance then filled the air. Then she was stretched out on the ground and beaten for so long that the servants had to be replaced several times. The torturers became exhausted and said that an invisible power was beating them with iron rods. Indeed, the angels warded off the blows directed at her and turned them upon the tormentors, causing nine of them to fall dead. They then threw the Saint in prison, where she prayed all night and sang praises to the Lord with the angels.

A new morning began, and they took Tatiana to the tribunal once more. The torturers beheld with astonishment that after such terrible torments she appeared completely healthy and even more radiant and beautiful than before. They began to urge her to offer sacrifice to the goddess Diana. The Saint seemed agreeable, and they took her to the heathen temple. Tatiana made the sign of the Cross and began to pray. Suddenly, there was a crash of deafening thunder, and lightning struck the idol, the sacrificial offerings and the pagan priests.

Once again, the Martyr was fiercely tortured. She was hung up and scraped with iron claws, and her breasts were cut off. That night, angels appeared to her in prison and healed her wounds as before. On the following day, they took Tatiana to the circus and loosed a hungry lion on her. The beast did not harm the Saint, but meekly licked her feet.

As they were taking the lion back to its cage, it killed one of the torturers. They threw Tatiana into a fire, but the fire did not harm the Martyr. The pagans, thinking that she was a sorceress, cut her hair to take away her magical powers, then locked her up in the Temple of Zeus.

On the third day, pagan priests came to the temple intending to offer sacrifice to Zeus. They beheld the idol on the floor, shattered to pieces, and the holy martyr Tatiana joyously praising the Lord Jesus Christ. The judge then condemned the valiant sufferer to be beheaded with a sword. Her father was also executed with her, because he had raised her to love Christ.




Brief Life of Saint Tatiana the Roman

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Tatiana was a Roman whose parents were of great nobility. She was a Christian and a deaconess in the church. After the death of Emperor Heliogabalus, Emperor Alexander, whose mother Mammaea was a Christian, reigned in Rome. The emperor himself was wavering and indecisive in the Faith for he kept statues of Christ, Apollo, Abraham and Orpheus in his palace. His chief assistants persecuted the Christians without the emperor's orders. When they brought out the virgin Tatiana for torture, she prayed to God for her torturers. And behold, their eyes were opened and they saw four angels around the Martyr. Seeing this, eight of them believed in Christ for which they also were tortured and slain. The tormentors continued to torture Tatiana. They whipped her, cut off parts of her body; they scraped her with irons. So all disfigured and bloody, Tatiana was thrown into the dungeon that evening so that the next day, they could, again, begin anew with different tortures. But God sent His angels to the dungeon to encourage her and to heal her wounds so that, each morning, Tatiana appeared before the torturers completely healed. They threw her before a lion, but the lion endeared himself to her and did her no harm. They cut off her hair, thinking, according to their pagan reasoning, that some sorcery or some magical power was concealed in her hair. Finally, Tatiana along with her father were both beheaded. Thus, Tatiana ended her earthly life about the year 225 A.D., and this heroic virgin, who had the fragile body of a woman but a robust and valiant spirit, was crowned with the immortal wreath of glory.



HYMN OF PRAISE: SAINT TATIANA

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

You grieve over the youth of your body, Oh, be reasonable!
Youth which passes, is it worthwhile to grieve over; you judge!
There is only one youth, youth in eternity,
That is the true youth, youth without aging,
This is worthwhile to ask for, and for it, to shed tears,
Even if you have to pay for it with the death of the body.
Tatiana purchased the costly with the less costly.
For dust and water, the Divine wine;
For the body that ages, eternal youth
And for a few tears, Cherubic joy.
Betrothed to Christ, the Immortal King,
She remained faithful to her Betrothed;
By the power of a pure spirit, crushed temptations
And bravely endured frightening tortures.
Around her were heard angelic footsteps;
As a wrinkled cloth, her body she shed,
And a soul free of earthly ties
Was raised to the wedding feast in the Kingdom without tears.


Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
O Lord Jesus, unto Thee Thy lamb doth cry with a great voice: O my Bridegroom, Thee I love; and seeking Thee, I now contest, and with Thy baptism am crucified and buried. I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; for Thy sake I die, that I may live in Thee: accept me offered out of longing to Thee as a spotless sacrifice. Lord, save our souls through her intercessions, since Thou art great in mercy.

Another Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Strengthened by the power of faith, thou didst contend for Christ our God, O glorious Tatiana; thou didst endure every affliction and by thy courage put Belial to shame. We beseech thee to deliver us from the power of the evil one.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Thou didst shine resplendently, Martyr Tatiana, in thy sacred sufferings and in the crimson of thy blood, soaring to Heaven like a fair dove; hence ever pray Christ for all them that honour thee.

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