St. Maura of Antinoe in Egypt
St. Maura and her husband, St. Timothy, suffered for the faith during the persecutions under Emperor Diocletian.
Governor Arian was informed that Timothy had a young wife named Maura, whom he had married only twenty days before. Arian ordered Maura to be brought before him, hoping that with her present, they could break St. Timothy’s will. St. Timothy urged his wife not to fear the tortures, but to follow his path. St. Maura answered, “I am prepared to die with you,” and she boldly confessed herself a Christian. Arian commanded that the hair be torn from her head, and that her fingers be cut off.
St. Maura underwent her tortures with joy and even thanked the Governor, which she endured so that her sins might be forgiven. Arian then gave orders to throw St. Maura into a boiling cauldron, but she did not feel any pain and remained unharmed. Suspecting that the servants had filled the cauldron with cold water out of sympathy, Arian ordered the saint to splash him on the hand with the water from the cauldron. When St. Maura did this, Arian screamed with pain and drew back his scalded hand. Momentarily admitting the power of the miracle, Arian confessed God in Whom Maura believed as the True God, and he ordered her to be released. However, the devil still held great power over the governor, and soon he again began to urge St. Maura to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. Having gotten nowhere, Arian was overcome all the more by a satanic rage, and he came up with new tortures. The people then began to murmur and demand a stop to the abuse of the innocent woman. But St. Maura, turning to the them, said, “Let no one defend me. I have one Defender, God, in Whom I trust.”
Finally, after further torturing them, Arian ordered Sts. Maura and Timothy to be crucified. For ten days, they hung on crosses facing each other. On the tenth day, they offered up their souls to the Lord.
These events occurred in 286. Later, a solemn celebration of the holy martyrs Timothy and Maura was instituted at Constantinople, and a church was built in their honor.
On the first Sunday of July, we commemorate the discovery of a wonderworking icon of St. Maura in the town of Machairado on the island of Zakynthos.
Troparion (Tone 4) –
Your holy martyrs Timothy and Maura, O Lord,
Through their sufferings have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God.
For having Your strength, they laid low their adversaries,
And shattered the powerless boldness of demons.
Through their intercessions, save our souls!
Kontakion (Tone 4) –
You accepted many humiliations,
And deserved to be crowned by God.
Great and praiseworthy Timothy and Maura,
Intercede with the Lord for us
That we may celebrate your most pure memory;
That He may grant peace to our land and people,
For He is a powerful stronghold for the faithful!
By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)