Commemorated on May 13
Saint Glyceria suffered as a martyr for her faith in Christ in the II Century, during the time of a persecution against Christians under the emperor Antoninus (138-161). She was descended from illustrious lineage: her father Macarius was the city-governor of Rome, and afterwards he resettled to the Thracian city of Trojanopolis. But Saint Glyceria early on lost both her father and mother. Falling in with Christians, she converted to the true faith, and daily she visited the church of God. The Trojanopolis governor, Sabinus, having received the imperial edict about compelling Christians to offer sacrifice to the idols, and so he set the inhabitants of the city a day of general worship of the idol Zeus. Saint Glyceria firmly resolved to suffer for Christ, she told the Christians about her intention, and she besought them to pray that the Lord would send her the strength to undergo the sufferings. On the festal day of Zeus Saint Glyceria, having traced on her forehead the Sign of the Cross, went into the pagan temple; the saint stood on a raised spot in the rays of the sun, and snatched from her head the veil, showing all the holy Cross, traced on her forehead. She prayed heatedly to God, that He should bring the pagans to their senses and destroy the stone idol of Zeus. Suddenly thunder was heard, the statue of Zeus crashed to the floor and smashed into little pieces. In a rage, the governor Sabinus and the pagan priests commanded the people to pelt Saint Glyceria with stones, but the stones that were thrown did not touch the saint. They locked up Saint Glyceria in prison, where the Christian priest Philokrates came to her and encouraged the martyress in the deed before her. In the morning, when the tortures had started, suddenly amidst the torturers there appeared an Angel, and they all fell to the ground, overcome with terror. When the vision vanished, then by order of Sabinus, himself hardly able to speak, they again led off the saint to prison. They securely shut the door and sealed it with the personal ring of the governor, so that no one could get in to her. During all her time of being thus locked in, Angels of God brought Saint Glyceria food and drink. Some many days afterwards Sabinus came to the prison and he himself removed the seal. Going in to the saint, he was shaken, seeing her alive and well. Setting off for the city of Heraclium, Sabinus gave orders to bring along there also Saint Glyceria. From this city there came out to meet her the Christians of Heraclium with the bishop Dometius at the head, and in front of everyone he uttered a prayer to the Lord for strengthening the saint in the act of martyrdom. At Heraclium they cast Saint Glyceria into a red-hot furnace, but the fire in it at once extinguished. Then the governor, in a mindless fury, gave orders to strip the skin from the head of Saint Glyceria. Then they threw the bared martyress into prison onto sharp stones, where she prayed incessantly, and at midnight in the prison there appeared an Angel which healed her of her wounds. The prison guard Laodicius, having come in the morning for the saint, at first did not recognise her, and thinking that the martyress had been hidden away he wanted to kill himself in fear of punishment, but Saint Glyceria stopped him. Shaken by the miracle, Laodicius believed in the True God and he besought prayers of the saint, that he also might suffer and die for Christ together with her. "Follow Christ and thou wilt be saved", – the holy martyress answered him. Laodicius placed upon himself the chains, with which the saint was bound, and at the trial he declared to the governor and everyone present about the miraculous healing of Saint Glyceria by an Angel and he confessed himself a Christian. The newly chosen one of God was immediately beheaded by the sword. Christians, having secretly taken up his remains, reverently gave them burial, but Saint Glyceria was given over for devouring by wild beasts. She went to execution with great joy, but the lioness set loose upon the saint meekly crawled up to her and, curling up, lay at her feet. Finally, the saint turned with a prayer to the Lord, imploring that He take her unto Himself. In answer she heard a Voice from Heaven, summoning her to the Heavenly bliss. At this moment there was set loose upon the saint another lioness, which pounced upon the martyress and killed her, but did not rend her apart. Bishop Dometius and the Heraclium Christians reverently buried the holy Martyress Glyceria. She suffered for Christ in about the year 177. Her holy relics were glorified with a flow of curative myrh.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.