September 17, 2016

Saint Agathokleia the Martyr


Agathokleia bears fire on her neck,
Dreadfully burning dreadful error by the neck.

The Holy Martyr Agathokleia was a servant* in the home of a certain Christian named Nicholas, who treated her with kindness and goodness. His wife Paulina was an impious and hard-hearted pagan, and for eight years the blessed Agathokleia underwent much abuse from her mistress because of her faith and in order to convert her to idolatry.

Sometimes Paulina would hit her hard on the neck with large stones, sometimes she made her run barefoot along rough and impassable ways, another time she struck her in the ribs with an iron hammer, while another time she burned her tongue. Such and many other abuses did Agathokleia endure daily.

Unable to persuade her despite all these abuses, Paulina finally put a fire on her neck,** and in this way the Holy Martyr surrendered her soul and entered heavenly rest.


* Some sources say she was their daughter.

** Specifically, this was probably done by pouring burning coals on her neck or piercing her with a burning iron. Though other sources say she was entirely burnt alive.