St. Chariessa, Nunechia, Basilissa and those martyred with them at Corinth
Commemorated on March 10
During the persecution against Christians in the third century, a certain pious woman named Rufina fled from Corinth to a mountain to escape from her pursuers. There she gave birth to a son, Quadratus, and died soon afterward. By the Providence of God, the infant remained alive and was nourished in a miraculous manner: a cloud appeared over him, dropping a sweet dew into his mouth.
The childhood and youth of St. Quadratus were spent in the wilderness. When he was a young man, he met some Christians, who enlightened him with the light of the true Faith. Quadratus studied grammar, and later learned the physician’s art and attained great success in it. But most of all, Quadratus loved the solitude of the wilderness, and he spent the greater part of his time in the hills, in prayer and meditation of God. Many years passed, and his friends and followers frequently visited the saint to hear his teachings. Among them were Cyprian, Dionysius, Anectus, Paul, Crescens and others.
By order of Emperor Decius, a military prefect named Jason arrived at Corinth to torture and slay Christians. Since Quadratus was the eldest, he spoke for the rest. The saint bravely defended his faith in Christ the Savior, then the torture began. St. Quadratus, despite inhuman suffering, encouraged the others, urging them not to be afraid and to stand firmly for the Faith.
Unable to persuade any of them to deny Christ, Jason ordered the martyrs to be thrown to wild beasts to be torn apart, but the beasts did not touch them. They tied the saints to chariots by their feet and drug them through the city, with many of the crowd throwing stones at them. Finally, they condemned the martyrs to beheading by the sword. At the place of execution, the martyrs asked for time to pray, and then one after the other bent their necks beneath the sword.
Imitating the men, many holy women – including Sts. Chariessa, Nunechia, and Basilissa – also went voluntarily to suffer for Christ.
Troparion (Tone 1) –
Let the godly–minded Quadratus, Anectus, Paul, Dionysius, Cyprian, and Crescens
Be praised with melodious hymns,
For as the six–fold choir of Christ’s prize–winners,
They ceaselessly pray for us before the Trinity!
Kontakion (Tone 4) –
As you contested bravely in Corinth, O wise martyrs,
You appeared as a six–branched radiant lamp.
Illumining the way for Christ’s faithful by the grace that was given you!
By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)