St. Ia, Virgin of St. Ives


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Commemorated on February 3

St. Ia or Hya was an Irish virgin of noble birth, who introduced Christianity to this area in the fifth century. She was among the followers of St. Barricius, who was a disciple of St. Patrick.

One day, St. Ia went to the seashore to depart for Cornwall from her native Ireland along with other Sts. Fingar and Piala. Finding that they had gone without her, and fearing that she was too young for such a hazardous journey, she was grief stricken and began to pray.

As she prayed, she noticed a leaf floating on the water and touched it with a rod to see if it would sink. As she looked, the leaf grew bigger and bigger. She realized that God had sent it to her and, trusting Him, she embarked upon the leaf and was carried across the Channel, reaching her destination before the others.

When the King of Cornwall learned that these blessed persons were preaching the Gospel of Christ, he had them put to death by the sword on the same day.

By permission of www.orthodoxwiki.org