September 18, 2009

Saint Ariadne of Phrygia

Holy Martyr Ariadne of Phrygia (Feast Day - September 18)


A rock, rent open, saves Ariadne,
For Christ the Rock of life protected her.

Ariadne, the holy martyr, lived during the reigns of Emperor Hadrian (117-138) and Antoninus Pius (138-161). Ariadne was a slave girl of Tertullus, the chief ruler of the city of Prymenseos in Phrygia.* Her master became indignant when she refused to accompany him to the temple of the idols on the occasion of his son's birthday. After he punished Ariadne by severely flogging her, scraping her with an iron claw and starving her in a dungeon, he dismissed her and sent her away.

However, he persecuted Ariadne, even after he discharged her, when he dispatched his men to trail her. As her pursuers approached, Ariadne was nearby a large rock. The ever-memorable prayed that it open and conceal her from those tracking her. Straightway, by a divine wonder, the rock opened and received her. There, within the safe confines of the rock, she surrendered her spirit into the hands of Christ.

When the persecutors arrived they were utterly confused and started a fight among each other and killed one another. Other accounts say that fearful angels of the Lord appeared sitting on horseback and bearing spears, striking Ariadnes persecutors.


* Phrygia was a mountainous region of Asia Minor between the Aegean plains and the central plateau west of the Halys and the interior desert.

HYMN OF PRAISE: The Holy Martyr Ariadne

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

The fair maiden Ariadne,
Served her master honorably,
But served God more than man.
A slave in body but not in soul,
She did not desire spiritual slavery
And would not worship idols.
She would bow before God the Creator,
She would bow before Christ the Savior,
But she would not bow before the idols.
She was tortured for her Lord,
And accepted torture with great joy,
With joy and thanksgiving.
Merciful God, with His All-seeing eye,
Saw St. Ariadne's holy suffering,
And commanded the lifeless rock
To hide His suffering virgin,
As had once happened with Thecla and John.
Ariadne, all-blessed virgin,
Help us by your prayers
Before the throne of the merciful God;
And, in the company of the Holy Mother of God,
Help us by your prayers.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Guided by the hand of Christ, thou didst excel in freedom of purpose, O Martyr Ariadne. Thou didst defeat the enemy and receive a crown woven with the grace of God. Entreat Him to have mercy on those who call thee blessed.

Kontakion in Third Tone
Thou didst love Christ the Rock of Life and stand steadfastly before the enemy. A rock which divided and received thee united thee to thy Bridegroom. O martyr Ariadne, entreat Him to forgive our offences.