St. Christina of Ancyra, Virginmartyr, who suffered under Emperor Decius
St. Christina suffered under Emperor Decius in the third century. She watched the trial of Dionysius, Nikomachus, and two soldiers, Andrew and Paul, who had been transferred from Mesopotamia. They all confessed their faith in Christ and refused to offer sacrifice to the idols, so they were tortured. To the great sorrow of the Christians, Nikomachus did not persevere. He denied the Lord Jesus Christ, and entered a pagan temple to offer sacrifice to the idols. He fell down in a terrible frenzy and died foaming at the mouth, tearing the skin from his body with his teeth.
The sixteen-year-old Christina who was standing nearby shouted, “You cursed and lost man! Instead of enduring pain for a single hour, you have made yourself worthy of eternal torment!” Hearing this, the prefect gave orders to seize the holy virgin. Learning that she was a Christian, he gave her over to dissolute men for their pleasure.
An angel appeared at the house where the men had taken St. Christina. Frightened by the terrible vision, the men tearfully begged her to forgive them and asked her to pray that the Lord not punish them.
The following morning, Sts Dionysius, Andrew and Paul were again brought before the prefect. For confessing their faith in Christ, they were given to the pagans to be put to death. They bound the saints by the feet, dragged them to the place of execution, and stoned them to death.
Seeing their courage, St. Christina also ran up to die with the martyrs. She was beheaded by order of the prefect.
By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)