September 1, 2020

Synaxarion of the Holy Forty Virgins and Ascetics and their Teacher the Deacon Ammoun

 Holy Forty Virgins and Ascetics and their Teacher the Deacon Ammoun
(Feast Day - September 1)


To the Virgins.
For the Virgins double twenty the fire and sword,
Made the Son of God their Bridegroom.

To Ammoun.
By Ammoun accepting a fiery helmet,
He joyfully stripped off the covering of his flesh.

These women* lived during the reign of Emperor Licinius (308-324), and were from Adrianople of Macedonia. Being Christians, they followed Christ, having as a teacher and guide the Deacon Ammoun. Having been captured by the ruler of the city of Adrianople, whose name was Babdon, and being very much punished for not worshiping the idols, they therefore prayed to God, and - O the miracle! - immediately the priest of the idols was taken up and suspended in the air. There he remained as a punishment for many hours, until he finally fell, and thus the wicked one departed from the affliction. Saint Ammoun was then suspended and lacerated on his sides. He then accepted on his head a fiery iron helmet.

Because he was not wounded at all by these, he was sent with the above mentioned Holy Virgins from Berroen to Heraclea in Thrace, to the tyrant Licinius. By his order, ten Virgins were cast into fire and there met their end; eight were beheaded together with the Deacon Ammoun; another ten, being struck by the sword in their mouths and in their hearts, gave up their spirits. The rest of the twelve, who were left, some were cut to pieces with knives, while others were made to drink molten iron, and thus departed to the Lord.


* According to tradition, the names of these Forty Holy Virgins vary, but one set is given as follows: Adamantine, Athena, Akrive, Antigone, Arivea, Aspasia, Aphrodite, Dione, Dodone, Elpinike, Erasmia, Erato, Ermeneia, Evterpe, Thaleia, Theanoe, Theano, Theonymphe, Theophane, Kalliroe, Kalliste, Kleio, Kleonike, Kleopatra, Koralia, Lambro, Margarita, Marianthe, Melpomene, Moscho, Ourania, Pandora, Penelope, Polymnia, Polynike, Sapfo, Terpsichore, Troada, Haido, and Harikleia.