Sunday, July 24, 2016

Synaxarion of Saint Christina the Great Martyr

On the twenty-fourth of this month [July], we commemorate the Holy Great Martyr Christina.


Your Christina was killed by a spear O Christ,
Having not denied the faith of Christians.
On the twenty-fourth a sharp spear was cast at Christina.

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Christ the bridegroom united with Christina,
A pure bride, by the blood of her martyrdom.
On the twenty-fourth a sharp spear was cast at Christina.

Christina flourished during the reign of Emperor Septimius Severus (193-211), and was from the city of Tyre. She was the daughter of the general whose name was Urban, who put her up in a high tower. He ordered her to remain there with his gods, which were fashioned with gold and other precious materials. The Saint however reflected on these with correct thoughts, that indeed these gods were soulless idols fashioned by men. Thus by the inclination of God she beheld the heavens through a window, and reflecting on the creations of the Creator, she smashed the idols of her father, and distributed them to the poor. For this action she was punished by her father in the year 200, and thrown into prison, where she remained without food or water. However a divine Angel was sent to her, who fed her and healed her wounds. Then she was thrown into the sea, by this means receiving from the Lord Holy Baptism, and was rescued by a divine Angel and placed on dry ground. Appearing therefore to still be alive, she was again shut in prison at the order of her father, who that night cast away his defiled soul.

A man named Dion was thus placed in her father's position, who had the Martyr brought before him for examination. The Saint, after having proclaimed Christ as true God, was severely beaten, and after working wonders, she brought to Christ three thousand Greeks. After Dion, another man was placed in the position of governor, whose name was Julianus, who had the Saint cast into a burning furnace. Because the Martyr remained unharmed by divine grace, she was cast before poisonous and deadly snakes, but again she remained unharmed. Then it was ordered that the breasts of the Saint be cut off, from which it is said milk gushed forth instead of blood. Then they cut out her tongue. After this a soldier stabbed her with a spear in the area of her heart and side, by means of which the blessed one delivered her soul into the hands of God, from which she received the unfading crown of victory. Her Synaxis and Feast are celebrated in her Temple, which is in the new palace, and in the great Nymphas, and in the Temple of Saint Tryphon near the old and new Saint Irene.*


* Her relics were taken from Constantinople by Crusaders, and today rest incorrupt in Venice (see here).

Apolytikion in Plagal of the First Tone
Thou didst abandon thy father's error, and receive divine illumination, as a glorious virgin betrothed to Christ. Thou didst bravely struggle, and destroy the enemy, O Great Martyr Christina, and dost ever pray that we may receive great mercy.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
As a shining dove with golden wings thou didst fly to the heights of heaven, O Christina. We faithfully celebrate thy feast and venerate thy relics, from which divine healing for souls and bodies flows abundantly to all.

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