St. Tecusa was the aunt of St. Theodotus of Ancyra. She was the eldest of seven holy virgins who had dedicated themselves to Christ at an early age, living in constant prayer, fasting, temperance and good deeds. They were drowned in a lake at an advanced age.
The following night after their martyrdom, St. Tecusa appeared to St. Theodotus in a dream, asking him to take her body for Christian burial. St. Theodotus went to the lake, taking his friend Polychronius and several other Christians with him. It was dark, and a torch illumined their way. The holy martyr Sosander appeared in front of the guard who had been posted there by the pagan authorities. Seeing him, the frightened guard ran off.
The Christians found the bodies of the holy martyrs and carried them to the church, where they were buried. St. Theodotus was martyred for Christ on June 7, 303 or 304, but he is also commemorated on May 18, when the holy virgins were executed.
The account of the life and martyrdom of St. Theodotus and the suffering of the holy virgins was compiled by Nilus, a contemporary and companion of St. Theodotus. Nilus lived in the city of Ancyra during the persecution of Christians under Emperor Diocletian, and witnessed the saints’ deaths.
Troparion (Tone 4):
Your martyrs, O Lord, for their sufferings
Have received incorruptible crowns from You, our God.
For strengthened by Your might,
They overthrew tyrants and destroyed the powerless boldness of demons.
Through their supplications save our souls.
Kontakion (Tone 2):
Suffering martyrdom worthily
With those who suffered with you, O Theodotus,
You received crowns of honor with holy virgin martyrs.
Therefore entreat Christ God unceasingly in behalf of us all.
By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org )