The Holy Martyress Syncletia and her Two Daughters (VI)

Commemorated on October 24

      The Holy Martyress Syncletia and her Two Daughters (VI) suffered under the Arabian king Dunaan. Saint Syncletia was descended from an illustrious family. Left widowed while still quite young, she devoted herself to the Christian upbringing of her daughters, and she herself led a life both chaste and virtuous. Dunaan in the meantime had started up a persecution, intending to extirpate Christians from his realm. He summoned Saint Syncletia and her daughters before him, and in urging her to forsake her "folly", he promised as reward to take her into the retinue of his wife. "How canst thou not be afraid, O king, to speak evil of That One Who hath given thee both royal crown and life?" replied the holy martyress.
      Dunaan gave orders to lead the Martyress Syncletia and her daughters through the city as though they were criminals. Women, looking on at the disgrace of the saint, fell to crying, but she told them that this "shaming" for her was dearer than any earthly honour.
      They again brought the martyress before Dunaan, and he said: "If thou wishest to remain alive, renounce Christ". "If I make renunciation, who then wilt deliver me from eternal death?" replied the saint. In a rage the tormentor gave orders first to kill the daughters of Saint Syncletia and force their blood on her, and then to behead the mother with a sword.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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