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Thecla, a native of Iconium in Asia Minor (modern Turkey), in late antiquity became the most popular female saint after Mary. A main pilgrimage shrine (Hagia Thekla) was established at Seleucia, and a community of female virgins took up residence at its church. Devotion to Thecla quickly spread throughout the Mediterranean world, and her popularity is evidenced by the range of material artifacts that bear her image (wall paintings, clay flasks, bronze crosses, wooden combs, stone reliefs, glass medallions, and textile curtains) and by the practice of naming children after her. Her cult was officially suppressed by the Catholic Church in 1969 —she is thought never to have existed—and few but scholars are aware of her today. From: Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds. (1885). Ante-Nicene Fathers to A.D. 325, vol. 8. New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co. http://wesley.nnu.edu/sermons-essays-books/noncanonical-literature/noncanonical-literature-nt-acts/acts-ofpaul-and-thecla/ Paul having gone into the house of Onesiphorus, there was great joy, and bending of knees, and breaking of bread, and the word of God about selfcontrol and the resurrection; Paul saying: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God: blessed are they that have kept the flesh chaste, for they shall become a temple of God: blessed are they that control themselves, for God shall speak with them: blessed are they that have kept aloof from this world, for they shall be called upright: blessed are they that have wives as not having them, for they shall receive God for their portion . . . " While Paul was thus speaking in the midst of the church in the house of Onesiphorus, a certain virgin Thecla, the daughter of Theocleia, betrothed to a man named Thamyris, sitting at the window close by, listened night and day to the discourse of virginity and prayer, and did not look away from the window, but paid earnest heed to the faith, rejoicing exceedingly. When she still saw many women going in beside Paul, she also had an eager desire to be deemed worthy to stand in the presence of Paul, and to hear the word of Christ; for never had she seen his figure, but heard his word only. As she did not stand away from the window, her mother sends to Thamyris; and he comes gladly, as if already receiving her in marriage. Theocleia said: "I have a strange story to tell thee, Thamyris; for assuredly for three days and three nights Thecla does not rise from the window, neither to eat nor to drink; but looking earnestly as if upon some pleasant sight, she is so devoted to a foreigner teaching deceitful and artful discourses, that I wonder how a virgin of such modesty is so painfully put about. Thamyris, this man will overturn the city of the Iconians, and thy Thecla too besides; for all the women and the young men go in beside him, being taught to fear God and to live in chastity. Moreover also my daughter, tied to the window like a spider, lays hold of what is said by Paul with a strange eagerness and awful emotion; for the virgin looks eagerly at what is said by him, and has been captivated. But do thou go near and speak to her, for she has been betrothed to thee." Thamyris going near, and kissing her, but at the same time also being afraid of her overpowering emotion, said: "Thecla, my betrothed, why dost thou sit thus and what sort of feeling holds thee overpowered? Turn round to thy Thamyris, and be ashamed. . . . " [But] Thecla did not turn round, but kept attending earnestly to the word of Paul. [Thamyris has Paul thrown into jail on charges of corruption, namely "leading astray the souls of young men and deceiving virgins."] Thecla by night, having taken off her bracelets, gave them to the gatekeeper; and the door having been opened to her, she went into the prison; and having given the jailor a silver mirror, she went in beside Paul, and, sitting at his feet, she heard the great things of God. Paul was afraid of nothing, but ordered his life in the confidence of God. Her faith also was increased, and she kissed his bonds. When Thecla was sought for by her friends, and Thamyris, as if she had been lost, was running up
and wondered at the power that was in her. and all that was in the 115 120 125 130 135 140 145 150 155 cavity of it was poured out. and having scourged Paul. . full of water and hail. himself embraced her in the street. When she gave no answer. lay down. and pulled off his crown.65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 110 and down the streets. that. she saw the Lord sitting in the likeness of Paul.] Thecla said to Paul: "I shall cut my hair. and condemned Thecla to be burned. The crowd. I have been cast out of the city. and the lioness having run up to her feet. and because I would not have Thamyris. having made the sign of the cross. they drew the multitudes together. and said to her: "Why dost thou not obey Thamyris. . nor is she mine. [The next morning at dawn. I am afraid lest another temptation come upon thee worse than the first. and he ordered her too to be brought to the tribunal. and was thrown into the arena." But he. whose daughter was dead. and thus. the governor wept. The women were struck with astonishment. enchained by affection. made an underground rumbling. when Paul had been brought. one of the gatekeeper's fellow-slaves informed him that she had gone out by night." The governor was greatly moved. her mother cried out. and he went up into heaven. in order that all the women that have been taught by this man may be afraid. having taken Thecla. and temptation shall not touch me. She. and received a girdle." She gazed upon him with great earnestness. for God. He ordered Paul to be brought to the tribunal. so that many were in danger of death. and thou shalt receive the water. Having looked upon the crowd. and tried to gain over Paul by gifts and presents. a certain Syriarch." Thecla said: "Only give me the seal in Christ. he summoned Thecla. and the multitude of the women cried aloud. he condemned her to the wild beasts. Thecla is brought to the arena. according to the law of the Iconians?" But she stood looking earnestly at Paul." A certain Tryphaena. and a cloud overshadowed them from above. went up on the faggots.] Thecla. and thou art beautiful. Having gone out. But Paul said: "I know not the woman whom thou speakest of. and he said to them: "She has gone to the foreigner into the prison. She cried out bitterly. she tore his cloak. having been taken out of the hand of Tryphaena. When she came in naked. and all the crowd went forth to the spectacle of Thecla. it did not touch her. but Thecla was wallowing on the ground in the place where he sat and taught her in the prison. Having called a council. and Thecla saved. . vehemently cried out: "He is a magician! away with him!" But the proconsul gladly heard Paul upon the holy works of Christ. He. and said: "As I am unable to endure my lot. in order that Thecla might be burned. exulting with joy." Having gone. they found her. But as a lamb in the wilderness looks round for the shepherd. was stripped. Having gone forth thence. She came. saying: "Burn the wicked wretch. The fire was put out." He said: "It is a shameless age. Paul has come to see me. I am one of the chief persons of the Iconians. he went into Antioch. burn in the midst of the theatre her that will not marry. and had her for a consolation. "I may remain pure until I shall fight with the wild beasts. seeing Thecla. having compassion upon her. The public executioners arranged the faggots for her to go up on the pile. Though a great fire was blazing. Immediately the governor went away to the theatre. and when she had confessed that she had done these things. being of great power. and they lighted them. led her before the governor. and cried out beside the tribunal: "Evil judgment! impious judgment!" She asked the governor. at the same time loving her. As they were going in. and informed the governor of the circumstance. but be cowardly. became enamoured of her. as it were. saying: "Do not force the stranger. so she kept searching for Paul. But the maid-servants and virgins brought the faggots. and follow thee whithersoever thou mayst go. said she." Paul said: "Thecla. he cast him out of the city. and at the same time ashamed of what had happened. Alexander by name. but looked about for Paul." Paul sent away Onesiphorus and all his house to Iconium. [She goes to rejoin Paul. and that thou withstand it not. do not force the servant of God." Taking hold of Alexander. A bear . they examined the gatekeeper. and made him a laughing-stock. took her into keeping. But she would not endure it. and lions and bears and a fierce lioness were let loose upon her. wait with patience.
They rushed about." The women shouted aloud. tore her to pieces. and. the lioness. which belonged to Alexander. turned. her protector. and found Paul speaking the word of God. When she saw him. The governor therefore immediately issued an edict. The women made great lamentation. Come within. There was round her. When she had finished her prayer. For He alone is the end of salvation. and said: "Now it is time to wash myself. the servant of God." Taking the garments. saying: "Have mercy both on me and the city." The governor. she standing and stretching forth her hands. she put them on. since also the lioness. and the multitude. having instructed her in the word of God. let us bind to them her that is to fight with the beasts. Paul. nor could she be seen naked. a shelter to the despairing. for He is a refuge to the tempest-tossed. I have believed in the Son of God. and release this woman. was killed along with him. as she was naked. because his kinswoman Queen Tryphaena has died. others nard. And Alexander entreated the governor. Again a lion that had been trained against men. and were comforted. the God of Thecla". She then threw herself in the name of Jesus Christ. a solace to the afflicted. saying: "There is one God. The women. she came to Myra. but the seals having seen the glare of the fire of lightning. and it was told her that he was in Myra of Lycia." The women seeing. shall not live for ever. and to be put on. Paul was astonished at seeing her. For if Caesar hear of these things. and the basis of immortal life. so that Alexander said to the governor: "I have bulls exceedingly terrible. in whom He is well pleased. so that the crowd said: "Queen Tryphaena is dead. She rose up. so that also the governor shed tears. she girded herself. encountering the lion. and said: "Do what thou wilt." She therefore went in along with her. others cassia." 205 210 215 220 225 230 235 240 245 The governor summoned Thecla out of the midst of the wild beasts. Thecla kept seeking Paul. a cloud of fire. and said: "I am . and she. There was great joy in the house." The governor put a stop to the games. being rendered more furious. floated about dead. and as to what there is about me. she said: "I have received the baptism." Paul. and prayed over Tryphaena. so that neither could the wild beasts touch her." The governor having heard this. taking her. and she was as if she had not been bound. Then they send in many wild beasts. and rested eight days. but the burning flame consumed the ropes. and the crowd with her. for He that wrought along with thee for the Gospel has wrought in me also for baptism. when other wild beasts were being thrown in. and put redhot irons under the privy parts of the bulls. wherefore not one of the beasts has touched me. and said: "Now I believe that the dead are raised: now I believe that my child lives. others amomum. therefore. went to meet the holy Thecla." She threw herself in. and the city was in dismay. But Tryphaena fainted standing beside the arena. because the seals were going to devour such beauty. and praying. led her to the house of Hermaeus. was dead.160 165 170 175 180 185 190 195 200 ran upon her. once for all. thinking that some new trial was coming upon her. and said to her: "Who art thou and what is there about thee. Taking young men and maidens. and with one mouth returned thanks to God. wailed. looking gloomy. Thecla said: "He that clothed me naked among the wild beasts." They bound her by the feet between them. saying: "I release to you the God-fearing Thecla. Tryphaena having received the good news. whoever shall not believe on Him. and I shall assign to thee all that is mine. ran upon her. All the wild beasts that had been thrown in. as if they had been withheld by sleep. so that there was abundance of perfumes. might kill her. so that those that heard greatly wondered. he will speedily destroy the city also along with us. she turned and saw a ditch full of water. so that they. did not touch her. Some threw sweet-smelling herbs. but the lioness. that not one of the wild beasts touches thee?" She said: "I indeed am a servant of the living God. so that most even of the maidservants believed. and having sewed the tunic so as to make a man's cloak. so that the foundations of the theatre were shaken by their voice. ordered her garments to be brought. will in the day of judgment clothe thee with salvation. saying: "In the name of Jesus Christ I am baptized on my last day. saying: "Do not throw thyself into the water". wept. meeting the bear. and hears everything from her.
so that she left to Paul many things for the service of the poor. living as an ascetic and 260 preaching the word of God. Thecla withdraws to a cave near Seleucia." When the rapists hold down the ninety-yearold virgin. [At age eighteen. Eventually.250 255 going to Iconium. and a rock opens up to take her in and closes behind her. she prays. where she spends the remainder of her live. seventy-two years. the townsmen send out "insolent young men to destroy her. leaving only a piece of her veil behind." Tryphaena sent her much clothing and gold. and teach the word of God." Paul said: "Go.] .
died early. "Thou knowest my wealth. the mother and daughter prostrated themselves in prayers at the tomb. a martyr who had been executed some fifty years earlier in nearby Catania. though she was 1 but one. and that which thou wilt give at death for the Lord's name thou wilt give because thou canst not take it away with thee. in thy time of health. Sicily. leaving his riches to her mother. but. she was born c. by that same One who healed thee by prayers." Thus Lucy frequently exhorted her mother. Ælfric's Lives of Saints. named Eutychia. When Eutychia contracted a painful disease. a Greek woman. that thou never name to me any bridegroom. in the city of Catania. many physicians could not heal one patient. until she sold the shining gems. thou canst take away nothing with thee out of this life.] She rose then trembling because of that bright vision. This came to the ears of the nobly-born youth who was wooing Lucy. Lucy persuaded her to make a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. (1881). Then said Lucy. Her veneration spread to Rome. 1 35 5 40 10 45 15 50 20 55 25 60 30 and said to her mother. "If thou believest. 996). Agatha. after the mass. a Roman aristocrat. The widow was diseased. and I have kept now for nine years against all losses thy father's property. and she hoped her mother would devote all their worldly goods to the service of the poor. original series. Lucy was betrothed by her mother to a young pagan nobleman. since she suffered for His name that she might ever behold Him in her presence. "Listen to my counsel. and afterwards distributed it to the poor and to strangers. [Lucy has a vision of Agatha who tells her she will be as famous in Syracuse as Agatha is in Catania. my dear daughter. "Thou art mightily healed. and by the 6ct to the whole Church. so that she had a flux of blood for the space of four years. believe that Agatha has merited something from Christ. (Ælfric was an English abbot who wrote c. and wise servants of God. Trübner. during the Diocletian persecutions of 304 CE. Touch now her tomb.Lucy (Lucia) of Syracuse St. give it me for my chastity. to the famous tomb. According to the traditional story. Early English Text Society. But give now. Then came a certain widow. so that a great multitude out of Syracuse sought the virgin's tomb. All that is really known for certain of Lucy is that she was a martyr in Syracuse. ed. and had tried many physicians. Then it happened.283." Then said Lucy. and even her landed property for ready money. but Lucy had consecrated her virginity to God. and her daughter with her. Now I pray thee. First close mine eyes (in death). to widows and exiles. to her mother. Eutychia." Then. this well-known gospel. From: Walter W. from a distance of fifty miles. and then dispose of the property lo! how thou mayst please. full of faith. that the gospel was read how the woman was healed that had a flux of blood. Her father. to the true Saviour whatever thou intendest to dispose of at thy death. Meaning. Lucy's day is celebrated on December 13. at the mass. with great devotion. Skeat. but all of them could not help her. as I am going to Christ. 76. At age fourteen. vol. and thou shalt soon be whole. nor expect of my body any mortal fruit. who was named Paschasius. when she touched the Saviour's robe. mother." Then said the mother. in eternal bliss. and have increased it further. London: N. amongst other people. . as for the property that thou wouldst give me for my pollution. Then Agatha's renown spread over land and sea. the blessed Lucy.
" Then was Paschasius wroth. and said." Then the cruel one desired to fulfil his word. and ten thousand at thy right hand but verily no evil shall approach thyself. if it pleases not the (possessor's) mind. by my means. "A pure offering is this. so that the wicked ones could not remove the maiden. Thou canst not bend my will to thy purpose. et decem millia a dextris tuis. and take away from unbelievers their evil joy. "The words of the living God cannot be suppressed. whatever thou mayest do to my body. Then was she wounded. and that it may dispel all fear of torture from believers. I shall still be guiltless in the sight of the true God. I have not for three years been employed about any other deeds. but have offered these offerings to the living Lord. and comfort exiles. he commanded oxen to be harnessed to her. but they bade men kill the pure maid with the sword. and bade men light a great pile all round the maid. but continued in prayer as long as she desired. Even as the city of Catania within its walls has the powerful intercessions of my sister Agatha. If now. but stood firm as a mountain. and acceptable to God. Then they fastened ropes. Now I desire verily to offer to Him myself. and sprinkle her with pitch and bespattering oil. because for some time I have had nothing to spend in His service. Though thou shouldst lift up my hand to thine idol. and help orphan children in their affliction. until he promised her a beating if she would not be silent. and the furious emperor Diocletian is deposed from his empire. and many tugged at once. so that her bowels fell out. that they with their enchantments might overpower the virgin of God. A thousand shall fall beside thee. 110 115 120 125 130 135 140 145 150 155 Then was the impious Paschasius perplexed. to her hands and feet. so that the Holy Ghost held her. "What is the reason that a thousand men cannot even stir thee. so that his friends could not assuage his madness. and knoweth all things. "I have obtained of Christ in prayer that this deadly fire may have no power upon me. who enticed the holy maid to make offerings to devils. "No one's body is dangerously polluted. But when they sped not at all. that one should visit widows. that she might be led to loathsome pollution. who judges according to the will. in their cruel attempt. they would all hear the Holy Ghost thus speaking: Cadent a latere tuo mille. She stood then undismayed in the fire.] Lucy thus answered. against my will. Lucy said to him. and said to the people. and they spake much. and fastened her as by a great weight. and bade false magicians be brought unto him.65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 an impious idolater. a twofold purity shall be gloriously imputed to me. but they could not even so shake the maiden. nevertheless she died not. The murderer then said to the pure maid. all weak as thou art?" Lucy said to him. tibi autem non apropinquabit malum." Then was the impious one madly vexed. to intercede for you. so am I allotted by Almighty God now to this city of Syracuse. but she was never stirred. but the Lord's virgin said." [Paschasius threatens to send her off to a brothel where she'll lose her maidenhood. and so. and began to drag her to the house of lust. thou causest me to be polluted. saying the Holy Ghost will leave her then due to the impurity of her body." . that thou mayst be put to shame. "Though thou call ten thousand men. that cannot happen to me. but God's might was displayed at once in the maiden. offer against my will. "I tell you of a verity that peace is granted to God's congregation." Then was the impious one perplexed in his mind yet more. nor put to silence. if ye receive the faith. and Maximian the evil-doer is dead.
and led before the virgin. She recalled the words of Christ. Amen. pluck it out. The blessed Lucy remained in the same place where she was struck down. she cut her eyes out with a knife and sent them to him in a dish. to the Saviour's glory. He was then brought in bonds to Rome. when he could not excuse his evil deeds. the wicked Paschasius was bound with chains. until priests came 165 170 and houselled her with the holy mysteries. A third legend of St. Lucy is that she suffered martyrdom by having her eyes gouged out. more beautiful than ever. . and hallowed it in her name. who ever reigneth as God throughout eternity. and she departed to Christ as they were saying "Amen. her lover converted to Christianity and became a model of virtue." and afraid that her eyes would lead him to violence and perdition.160 Whilst she thus spake. Lucy's faith was rewarded by the restoration of her eyes. for his cruel deeds. A different legend has it that a young man was in love with Lucy. and the senators commanded him to be beheaded. "If thine eye offend thee. who governed all the land. always telling her that her beautiful eyes gave him no rest and made him want her." Then the people reared a church on the spot where she lay. Filled with remorse and admiration. He had previously been accused. to the Roman people.
Barbara cursed. 1900. A person in danger of dying without receiving the last rites from a priest may pray for Barbara's intercession. BARBARA In the time that Maximian reigned there was a rich man. Ellis. in the Eastern Orthodox Church December 17. by the puissance of his gods that. And then her father took her by the hair and drew her down from the mountain and shut her fast in prison. The Golden Legend. and he consumed into a stone. whom the holy St. showed and pointed her with his finger. Her feast day was December 4. [The father returns to find the three windows in place. on whom we ought to believe and worship. the which saw her fly." a private bathhouse. which was an evil man. http://www. BARBARA BEFORE THE PAGAN JUDGE Then sat the judge in judgment. certain princes be come to me which require me for to have thee in marriage. a paynim [pagan]. or else die by cruel torments. but that other. F.S. And when the judge was advertised of the faith and belief of the maid he did her to be brought tofore him. p. which pursued after her.edu/augusta/iconography/goldenLegend/barbara. which went anon unto her and said: "My daughter. to the end that no man should see her because of her great beauty. erected for his daughter. Barbara answered: "These three fenestres or windows betoken clearly the Father. John Baptist. St.] In this same cistern was this holy maid baptized of a holy man. and lived there a certain space of time. he said to her: "Now choose whether ye will spare yourself and offer to the gods. During his absence. The Cloister Walk. raised. Transl. Dioscorus has a "cistern. ST.267) in Nicomedia. and anon his sheep became locusts.htm HERE BEGINNETH THE LIFE OF ST. a symbol of the Trinity. he should torment her with horrible torments." Then St. or Lives of the Saints. which man was named Dioscorus. Then came many princes unto the said Dioscorus for to treat with him for the marriage of his daughter. And then her father. but the holy virgin made her prayer and then marvellously she was taken in a stone and borne into a mountain on which two shepherds kept their sheep. for thereto I have no will ne thought. . she substitutes for the priest and the sacrament itself" (Kathleen Norris. incontinent drew his sword to have slain her. Asia Minor (modern Turkey). And that one. for whom he did do make a high and strong tower in which he did do keep and close this Barbara. she was removed from the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church in 1969. From: William Caxton (1483).Barbara Barbara was born. and the Holy Ghost. . "While she is most commonly depicted holding a tower. following the holy precursor of our Lord. 197). which adored and worshipped the idols. and delivered her unto the judge. and conjured him. the which be three persons and one very God." 35 5 40 10 45 15 50 20 55 25 60 30 65 .] And St. she is also one of the few women saints who is sometimes pictured holding the eucharistic elements. Because of doubts concerning the historicity of her legend." [Before going on a journey. Barbara returned all angry towards her father and said: "My father. said that he had not seen her. a chalice and host. wherefore tell to me thine entent and what will ye have to do. This Dioscorus had a young daughter which was named Barbara. which would have preserved her. He asks his daughter for an explanation . and when he saw the great beauty of St. accompanied with his servants threatening her with his sword. and died (c. in taking only for her refection honeysuckles and locusts. . and it's taken care of. went unto the shepherds and demanded after her. Her father went with her.aug. London: Constable. Barbara. the Son. I pray you that ye will not constrain me to marry. and made her to be kept there by his servants unto the time that he had sent to the judge for to deliver her to the torments." Then he being replenished with furor. Barbara asks the workers to put in three windows rather than the original two.
to the end that it be not seen of the evil people. and I shall deliver thee from all thy pains that any shall make thee suffer. and there the judge commanded to slay her with the sword. replenished of ire. Barbara answered to him: "I offer myself to my God. and frot her flesh with salt. that by her merits he bring us after this short and transitory life into his glory perdurable. for in heaven and in the earth thou shalt have great joy for thy passion. and sent to her an angel which clad her with a white vestment. saying: "Lord Jesu Christ." And when she had made her prayer. And then at midnight descended a great light and clearness into the prison in which our Lord showed him to her. and commanded to unclothe her and beat her with sinews of bulls. and after he made her strongly to be beaten. doubt not the judge. A noble man called Valentine buried the bodies of these two martyrs. she came to her father and received the end of her martyrdom with St. the holy saint looked again towards heaven. they have ears. therefore. which have mouths and cannot speak. and rest in the chamber of God my Father." And incontinent she was all whole. and Marcian the judge. the judge commanded that she should be led with beating through the streets. he blessed her and remounted into heaven. Julian the second nones of December. and the knights led her unto a town called Dallasion. they have eyes. for thou knowest our fragility. Amen. And when this was said. be they made semblable to them. and all they that have fiance [faith] and belief in them. Barbara. and may not feel. saying: "Barbara. and knowest my thought. And then." Then commanded the judge to the hangman that he should cut off with his sword her paps. and they have feet. and that they should break her reins with staves. they have hands. our Lord came over her." Then came there a voice down from heaven saying unto her: Come. And St. Then St. [The following morning. the holy martyr suffered passion in the time of Maximian. And then her father all araged took her out of the hands of the judge and led her up on a mountain. the judge did do close her in a prison unto the time that he had deliberated of what torments he might make her die. and hurted her head with a mallet. and consumed him in such wise that there could not be found only ashes of all his body. I beseech thee to grant me thy grace and hear my prayer. saying: "Jesu Christ. a fire from heaven descended on him. and cannot see. and I grant to thee that thou hast required of me. which is in heaven. commanded that she should be hanged between two forked trees. I beseech thee to leave me not. and be firm and steadfast. and hear not. and may not go. have confidence. that coverest heaven with clouds. that her body was all bloody. that knowest the hearts of men. when our Lord had said thus. and laid them in a little town in which many miracles were showed in the louing [praise] and glory of God Almighty. Jesu Christ. and burn her sides with burning lamps. they have noses. they that make them. which hast formed heaven and earth." And when she had long endured this pain." Then became the judge all wood and angry. and fie on your devils. HER HOLY DEATH And then when she was drawn thither she made her orison. I pray thee that thou wilt not remember their sins. and when she had long endured this. and when they were cut off. Whom we pray and beseech to be our advocatrix unto Almighty God. turn not thy visage from me. for I shall be with thee.] the judge. that all they that have memory of thy name and my passion. I pray thee to cover my body. Barbara beheld and looked upward to heaven. and St. and smell not. saying: "Jesu Christ. Julian. But when her father descended from the mountain. This blessed virgin St. Barbara rejoiced her in hasting to receive the salary of her victory. 125 130 135 140 145 150 . and the holy virgin the 115 120 third time beheld the heaven.70 75 80 85 90 95 100 105 110 St. emperor of Rome. the which hath created heaven and earth and all other things. Barbara received martyrdom with St. my spouse Barbara. and said: "Lord God.
for that is the thing that she is so sought for. Wilgefortis was a septuplet of a pagan king of Portugal. her usual emblem is a cream-cheese or a sword. Her father wanted her to marry the king of Sicily. with feast on 20 July. Bana repented. and almsgiving. Juthwara. became a monk. and founded a monastery of Gerber (later called Le Relecq) on a British battlefield. suffered after her father's death from a pain in the chest. . ed. 5th rev. Juthwara carried her head back to the church. According to this story. found her underclothes were moist. Her father accordingly had her crucified: while on the cross she prayed that all who remembered her passion should be liberated from all encumbrances and troubles. A late medieval statue at Guizeny (Brittany) shows her holding her head in her hand. From: David Hugh Farmer (2011). The stepmother recommended as a remedy two cheeses applied to her breasts. may originally have been Juthwara's.L. Her relics were translated to Sherborne under Ælfwald II (1045–58). Liberata. The usual spring of water then appeared. It seems that the cult originated in 14th-century Flanders. In its developed form. perhaps from Cornwall. as they say. Feast: 28 November. she was the victim of a jealous stepmother. brought on perhaps by her sorrow and austerities. . was British. . He accused her. Insomuch that women have therefore changed her name and instead of Saint Wilgeforte call her Saint Uncumber. Wilgefortis The curious legend of Wilgefortis [also called Uncumber. So she prayed to become unattractive: the result was that a moustache and beard grew on her face and her suitor withdrew. The Oxford Dictionary of Saints. a pious girl who practised much prayer. Westminster Abbey. but she had taken a vow of virginity. meanwhile. Oxford: Oxford UP. The neighbouring parish of Lancast is dedicated to her sisters. is a farrago of impossibilities. .Juthwara Juthwara: virgin (and martyr?). A statue of Wilgefortis survives in Henry VII Chapel. These seem to be the most certain facts about her: her Legend in N. She is depicted with her sister Sidwell on the screens of Hennock and Ashton (Devon). now St Julitta's. and struck off her head there and then. but if it be because she should provide a horse for an evil husband to ride to the devil upon. Her brother was said to be Paul Aurelian and her sisters Sidwell of Exeter and Wulvela of Cornwall. or Kummernis] has its roots in a story recounted by Gregory the Great. 13 July. The place of Juthwara's death may have been Lanteglos by Camelford (Cornwall).A. translation. . In our own day some doctors have speculated on the connection between anorexia nervosa in adolescent girls and the growth of hair in unusual parts of the body. The English custom of offering oats at her statue was rightly derided by Thomas More: "Whereof I cannot perceive the reason. fasting. The legend of Wilgefortis is sometimes explained as an attempt to account for the clothed and bearded figure of Christ on the Cross. . where the church. she told her own wicked son called Bana that Juthwara was pregnant. together with her brothers and sisters she became a Christian and suffered martyrdom. as in the Legend of Sidwell. because that they reckon that for a peck of oats she will not fail to uncumber them of their husbands." .
She was of a pious nature and often at prayer. "From Maria's story carefree children and young people with their zest for life can learn not to be led astray by attractive pleasures which are not only ephemeral and empty but also sinful. children of Mary. This may be conceived as a slow steady martyrdom which Christ urged upon us when he said: The kingdom of heaven is set upon and laid waste by violent forces. Maria Goretti was born of a poor family in Corinaldi. a constant. unscathed and untarnished. (Office of Readings) The following is an excerpt from a homily at the canonization of Saint Maria Goretti by Pope Pius XII: "It is well known how this young girl had to face a bitter struggle with no way to defend herself. God's grace will support them and they will come through undefeated. Near Nettuno she spent a difficult childhood assisting her mother in domestic duties. martyrs.Maria Goretti Goretti was an Italian peasant girl from a village near Ancona. who also forgave him. courage and holiness. Parents can learn from her story how to raise their God-given children in virtue. Italy.' With splendid courage she surrendered herself to God and his grace and so gave her life to protect her virginity. Through her prayers to the Redeemer may all of us. St. "The life of this simple girl—I shall concern myself only with highlights—we can see as worthy of heaven. Instead they can fix their sights on achieving Christian moral perfection. Most importantly. Maria Goretti's feast is on July 6. Her father died when she was ten. sets before us. when put to the test. they can learn to train them in the Catholic faith so that. children. each in his own way. Still. This demands strength of character though it may not match that of this innocent girl. I have no fear so long as your grace is with me. the first virgin martyr declared such by the church for defending her chastity rather than her faith. The Imitation of Christ: 'Though tested and plagued by a host of misfortunes. From: http://www. . Saint Maria Goretti. It is my strength. bent on raping her and destroying her childlike purity.catholicculture. against poverty. it helps me and gives me guidance. in 1890. and he was subsequently converted. he sat next to her mother at the beatification. In that moment of crisis she could have spoken to her Redeemer in the words of that classic. She was canonized in 1950. Patron: Against impoverishment. with God's grace.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day. but we are all called to the pursuit of Christian virtue. young people in general. persistent and relentless effort is asked of us right up to the moment of our death. "Not all of us are expected to die a martyr's death. however difficult and hazardous that course may prove. strive to reach the goal that the example of the virgin martyr. preferring to die rather than be raped." Imprisoned for murder she appeared to him in his cell and forgave him. stronger than any adversary. rape victims. With determination and God's help all of us can attain that goal by persistent effort and prayer. the first time a parent was present for a child's canonization. In 1902 she was stabbed to death. Even today people can look upon it with admiration and respect. "So let us all. At age twelve she was assaulted by a neighboring teenager. girls.cfm?date=2012-07-06 St. loss of parents. joyfully try to follow the inspiring example of Maria Goretti who now enjoys eternal happiness in heaven. Without warning a vicious stranger [actually Alessandro Serenelli who lived with his father in the same house as the Gorettis] burst upon her. Her mother was present at her canonization.
she could only hear their cries as the soldiers waded into them. . in Morazán department. a thirty-eight-year-old woman. He was two years old. The soldiers kept telling us." The New Yorker. strange evangelical songs. most below the age of twelve— the soldiers herded from the house of Alfredo Márquez across the street to the sacristy. intermittent screams. into the dark tiny room. . and shot her in the chest. there were only three of us left. I could see I was going to be killed soon. US journalist Mark Danner compiled various reports to reconstruct an account of the massacre. Chepe had heard plenty of shooting. too. She had lain there on La Cruz with the blood flowing from her chest. The massacre was first reported in the US by New York Times and Washington Post reporters who had independently reached the scene. and I didn’t really understand what was happening until I saw one of the soldiers take a kid he had been carrying—the kid was maybe three years old—throw him in the air. 'You are guerrillas and this is justice. This is justice.com/articles/show/the_truth_of_el_mozote Rufina [Rufina Amaya. . All of us were crying now. crying and screaming. the El Salvador government apologized for the massacre. on the outskirts of the hamlet. . I was seven years old. A young man now known as Chepe Mozote told me that when the townspeople were forced to assemble on the plaza that evening he and his little brother had been left behind in their house. pushing them. and many they hanged from the tree. near the school. . In December 2011. . so I ran.El Mozote Massacre "The El Mozote Massacre took place in and around the village of El Mozote. stupefied. There was one in particular the soldiers talked about that evening (she is mentioned in the Tutela Legal report as well): a girl on La Cruz whom they had raped many times during the course of the afternoon. and had kept on singing—a bit weaker than before. one of the few survivors of the massacre] could not see the children. and I thought it would be better to die running. and through it all.] When they reached the playing field. Then they had grown tired of the game and shot her again. slashing some with their machetes.' Finally. his mother had not returned. while the other women of El Mozote had screamed and cried [during the rapes]. [Soldiers found him and ordered him to carry his brother to the playground near the school. when the Salvadorean Army killed more than 800 civilians in an anti-guerrilla campaign during the Salvadoran Civil War. There the soldiers raised their M16s and emptied their magazines into the roomful of children. "The Truth of El Mozote. this girl had sung hymns. http://www. . 6 December 1993. even after they had done what had to be done. a few shots. crushing the skulls of others with the butts of their rifles. had watched and pointed. and came during a congressional debate over whether to continue military aid to the Salvadoran armed forces. and stab him with a bayonet. soldiers were raping the young girls who were left. and she had kept right on singing. and their wonder began to turn to fear—until finally they had unsheathed their machetes and hacked through her neck.” he says. "They slit some of the kids' throats. El Salvador. but still singing. but we were their prisoners—there was nothing we could do. . Many others—the youngest children. I watched them hang my brother. 1981. on December 11.markdanner. the Democratic-controlled Congress agreed to continue aid. and she sang still." (Wikipedia) From: Mark Danner (1993). Soon the only sounds were those which trickled down from the hills—laughter. . I slipped through the soldiers and dived into the bushes. “The soldiers were putting ropes on the trees. And the soldiers. On La Cruz. “there were maybe thirty children. They fired into the bushes. and at last the singing had stopped." . but none of their bullets hit me. Not all the children of El Mozote died at the sacristy. Following a "certification" by the administration of US President Ronald Reagan that no massacre had taken place and that Salvadoran forces were working to respect human rights. By the next morning.
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