Commemorated on July 29
The Holy Martyress
Seraphima the Virgin, a native of Antioch, lived at Rome during the reign
of the emperor Adrian (117-138) with the illustrious Roman Sabina, whom the
saint converted to Christianity. During the persecution against Christians
begun by order of the emperor, the governor Berillus gave orders to bring Saint
Seraphima to trial. Desirous for the crown of martyrdom from the Lord, at the
first summons she fearlessly went to the executioner. The devoted Sabina
accompanied her. Catching sight of the illustrious lady, Berillus at first set
free the maiden, but after several days he again summoned Saint Seraphima and
began the trial.
The governor bid the
saint honour the pagan gods and offer them sacrifice, but she boldly confessed
her faith in the One True God – Jesus Christ. Then Berillus gave her over to
two shameless youths to defile her. The holy martyress besought the Lord to
defend her. Suddenly there began an earthquake and the two youths fell crippled
to the floor. On the following day the governor learned, that his plan had
failed. Thinking, that the saint was an adept at sorcery, Berillus besought her
to return the youths to health and the gift of speech, in order that they
themselves might report about the miracle. The saint, praying to the Lord,
ordered the youths to stand up, and they at once rose up and told the judge,
that an Angel of the Lord had shielded the saint, and prohibited them from
approaching her. The fierce governor did not believe his servants and he
continued to urge Saint Seraphima to offer sacrifice to the idols. But the holy
martyress remained unyielding even then, when they scorched at her with burning
candles and mercilessly beat her with canes. Harsh punishment overtook the
pitiless governor: chips from the sticks, which the saint was beaten with,
caught him in the eyes, and after three days the tormentor went blind.
Powerless before the unyielding Christian, the judge ordered her beheaded.
Sabina with reverence buried the body of her holy teacher.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.