The Holy Martyress Golinducha, in Baptism Mary

Commemorated on July 12

      The Holy Martyress Golinducha, in Baptism Mary, lived in Persia during the reign of Chosroes I the Elder. She was the wife of the chief magician of the Persian empire. Endowed with a lucid mind, Golinducha perceived the falseness of the pagan wisdom, and she pondered much about what the true faith might be. Having learned about the existence of Christianity, she very much wanted to learn what it taught. Soon through the providence of God, her wish was fulfilled. In sleep an Angel showed Golinducha the place of torment of sinners and the paradise, in which dwell the believers in Christ, the True God. After this dream she began fervently to pray to the True God, so that He might help her become a Christian. The Angel of God directed Golinducha to a Christian priest, from whom she received holy Baptism with the name Mary.
      After Baptism she left her magician-husband, and he made complaint to the emperor Chosroes. The emperor himself, and dignitaries sent by him, and illustrious women all urged Golinducha to return to her husband. For her decisive refusal the emperor sentenced her to be locked up in life imprisonment. In prison Saint Mary-Golinducha spent 18 years.
      During the reign of the successor of the emperor Chosroes, his son Ormisdas, in Persia there had arrived an ambassador of the Byzantine emperor Mauricius, Aristoboulos. Having learned, that for many years already Mary the Christian was languishing in prison, Aristoboulos with the permission of the emperor repeatedly visited her in prison and taught her to sing the Psalms of David. After the departure of Aristoboulos, Ormisdas gave orders to present Saint Mary-Golinducha before him and for a long time he tortured her, subjecting her to all sorts of beatings and torments. But in all the torments through the intercession of God the saint was preserved unharmed. When they gave her over for defilement, the Lord made her invisible to the impious and preserved her purity. Finally the emperor gave orders to cut off the head of the martyress, but the Lord sheltered her from the hand of the executioner and brought her to Christians living in concealment.
      When the persecution against Christians in Persia ceased during the reign of Chosroes II, who occupied the throne with the help of the Byzantine emperor Mauricius, Saint Mary-Golinducha began openly to preach the Christian faith.
      At the end of her life Saint Mary made pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where she prayed at the tomb of the Lord and other holy places. On the return journey she died (+ 591) in the church of the holy Martyr Sergios at Niziba.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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