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Saints and Feasts of October 25

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Synaxarion of the Holy Martyrs Domnina, Bernike and Prosdoke

 

 
On this day [4th of October] we commemorate the Holy Martyr Domnina and her daughters Berine and Prosdoke
 
Verses

The three maidens were washed in the current of the river,
Ignoring their lives.
 
These Saints, inflicted with divine zeal and eros for God, left their homes and relatives and went to the city of Edessa. While residing there, behold there suddenly came Berine's* man and father, who were pagan Greeks, together with other soldiers. The Saints were therefore arrested, and went to Hierapolis, near which a river runs. While the soldiers were eating and getting drunk, the Saints secretly escaped, and praying to God, they entered the river. There they gave themselves over to the waves of the river. In this way the blessed ones met their end through drowning in the water.**
 
Notes:
 
* In the Synaxarion of Constantinople, her name is Berine, while Chrysostom says her name was Bernike, which in English can also be translated as Bernice or Veronica (her icon is the one above). In this passage, it suggests Bernike was married, or perhaps merely engaged, though her name here could be an error, where the author would have meant to put the name Domnina, since Chrysostom says both daughters were virgins.
 
** In his encomium to these Saints, the divine Chrysostom does not say that the two daughters of Domnina drowned themselves, but instead he says that Domnina drowned herself with her two daughters. She did this because she was afraid her two virgin daughters were going to be corrupted and raped by the soldiers, who were drunk. The daughters obeyed their mother. He describes the incident as the mother grabbing one daughter with one hand and the other daughter with her other hand and all three drowned at the same time. They left their shoes behind on the shore. This was done by the Saints so that it would be known that they secretly escaped and drowned themselves, and not by the soldiers, in order for the soldiers to not be punished by the judge. Chrysostom praises the mother for the great courage she showed, having conquered nature's desire by not only killing herself but also those who were born from her womb, and he praises the daughters for their great and ready obedience, by allowing themselves to be drowned by their mother.



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