The Holy Monastic Martyresses Archelia, Thecla and Susanna
Commemorated on June 6
The Holy Monastic
Martyresses Archelia, Thecla and Susanna sought salvation in a small
monastery near Rome. During the time of the persecution by Diocletian
(284-305), the holy virgins attired themselves in men's clothing, cut their
hair and set off to the Italian province of Campagna. settling in a remote area,
they continued to pursue asceticism in fasting and prayer. And having received
from God the gift of healing, they doctored the local inhabitants, converting
many pagans to Christ. But learning of them, the governor of the district gave
orders to bring them to the city of Salerno. He threatened Saint Archelia with
handing her over for abuse and a sentence of death, if she did not offer sacrifice
to idols. With firm hope on the help of the Lord, the saint refused to submit
to the command, and she denounced the folly of worshipping soulless statues.
Then the governor gave orders to hand over the saint to be torn apart by hungry
lions, but the beasts meekly did lay at her feet. In a rage the governor gave
orders to kill the lions, and to lock up the holy virgins in prison.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.