July 7, 2011

The Honorable Skull of Saint Kyriaki the Great Martyr

Saint Kyriaki was the daughter of Christian parents, Dorotheos and Eusevia. She was given her name because she was born on Sunday, the day of the Lord (in Greek, Kyriaki). She contested in Nicomedia during the reign of Diocletian, in the year 300. After many bitter torments she was condemned to suffer beheading, but being granted time to pray first, she made her prayer and gave up her holy soul in peace.

The Honorable Skull of St. Kyriaki is kept in the Sacred Monastery of the Archangels in Aigialeia. This Monastery was founded by Saint Leontios in c. 1450. As the son of an aristrocratic family of Constantinople, the Monastery was built with the support of his uncles Thomas and Demetrios Paleologos, who were impressed by the saintliness of their nephews life. As a gift they gave him also the Skull of St. Kyriaki from Constantinople, which remains a priceless treasure of the Monastery.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
The Martyr of Christ hath called us all together now to praise and acclaim her wrestlings and her godly feats; for possessed of manliness of mind, she hath proved to be worthy of her name, being lady and mistress of her mind and the passions of unseemliness.