St. Zenaida of Tarsus


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Commemorated on October 11

The Martyrs Zenaida and Philonilla lived in Tarsus in Cilicia during the first century, and were related to Apostle Paul. They were pious Christian women, and both of them shared a love of learning. By whatever means were available to them at that time, they acquired medical knowledge.

The two sisters left home and settled in a cave near the city of Demetriada where they lived in constant prayer and work. The citizens of Demetriada soon learned that there were two women doctors who gladly treated everyone who turned to them for help, yet did not require payment for their services. They also healed people's souls by converting them to Christ.

Late one night, pagans came to their cave and stoned them. Sts. Zenaida and Philonilla suffered martyrdom for Christ, thereby receiving incorruptible crowns of glory from the Lord.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)