The Holy Martyrs Alexander and Antonina the Virgin:

Commemorated on June 10

      The Holy Martyrs Alexander and Antonina the Virgin: Saint Antonina hailed from the city of Krodamna (Asia Minor). For being a Christian they brought her before the governor named Fistus, who urged her to worship the pagan gods, promising to bestow upon her the esteemed title of priestess of the goddess Artemis. But the saint bravely confessed Christ and she urged the governor to renounce the worship of demons in the form of idols. Fistus gave orders to strike the saint on the face and lock her up in prison. The martyress spent all her time at prayer, she ate and drank nothing, but then she heard the voice of God: "Antonina, fortify thineself with food and be brave. For I am with thee". When they again led her before the governor, the martyress continued firmly to stand up for the Christian faith and to denounce the pagans. The governor decided to give the holy virgin over for defilement by soldiers, but the Lord inspired one of them, Saint Alexander by name, to save the martyress. He sought permission to go in to the virgin, on the pretense that he might sway her to fulfill the will of the governor. Saint Alexander then suggested that the martyress don his military attire and flee. Saint Antonina was afraid, but the Lord ordered her to agree. Having put on the garb of a soldier, and recognised by no one, she emerged from her imprisonment. The soldiers sent by Fistus found Saint Alexander alone. To the questions of the governor he answered not a word, and he was given over for torture and mercilessly beaten. Through the inspiration of the Lord Jesus Christ, Saint Antonina also came to stand before Fistus. For the both of them they cut off their hands, they then smeared them with pitch and threw them into a pit, where a fire was burning. When the fire went out, they threw snakes into the pit, so that Christians should not be able to gather up the bones of the martyrs. Returning homewards, Fistus became numb, and was able neither to eat nor to drink, and after seven days of terrible torments he died. The holy Martyrs Alexander and Antonina died on 3 May 313. But in the Prologue their memory is placed under 10 June. The relics of the saints were transferred to Constantinople and placed in the Maximov monastery.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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