The Holy Martyress Acelina

Commemorated on June 13

      The Holy Martyress Acelina, a native of the Phoenician city of Byblos, suffered under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). Her parents raised her in Christian piety. When the girl was but 12 years of age, she persuaded a pagan friend to convert to Christ. One of the servants of the imperial governor Volusian made a denunciation, that she was teaching her peers not to honour the religion of their fathers. The girl firmly confessed her faith in Christ in front of the governor and said, that she would not renounce Him. Volusian tried by persuasion and by flattery to sway the young confessor, but seeing her assuredness, he then gave orders to hand her over for torture. They struck her upon the face, and then, having been stripped they whipped her. The torturer mockingly asked: "Where then is thy God? Let Him come and take thee out of my hands". The saint answered: "The Lord is invisibly here together with me, and the more I suffer, all the more shalt He give me strength and endurance".
      With red-hot rods they drilled at the head of the martyress at the ears. The holy martyress fell down as though dead. The torturer decided that the girl had actually died, and he gave orders to throw out her body outside the city for devouring by dogs. By night an holy Angel appeared to Saint Acelina, roused her and said: "Arise and be well. Go and denounce Volusian, that he himself and his intent are thus come to naught before God". The martyress, offering up praise to God, and having been restored unharmed, went to the court of the governor and stood before Volusian. Seeing Saint Acelina, Volusian in fright called for his servants and ordered them to keep watch over her until morning. In the morning he delivered a death sentence against Saint Acelina on the grounds of being a sorceress and not obeying the imperial decrees. When they led the saint to execution, she prayed and gave thanks to God, for having granted her to suffer for His Holy Name. A voice was heard in answer to her prayer, summoning her to the Heavenly Kingdom, after which the martyress gave up her spirit to God (+ 293). The executioner feared to disobey the orders of the governor, and although already dead, he cut off her head. Christians piously buried the body of the martyress. Later on, her relics were taken to Constantinople and placed within a church named for her.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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