Saturday, August 6, 2011

St. Christina of Tyre

Joyous feast! St. Christina of Tyre lived in what today is Lebanon in the 3rd century, born into the family of Urban, the Roman governor of Tyre. The Saint was exceptionally beautiful and because of this and her privileged background was sought after as a bride. St. Christina's father, however, wanted his daughter to become a priestess and settled her in quarters set apart from the family and filled with many idols and charged her with the duty of offering the daily incense to the idols.

It was in this solitude that St. Christina began to wonder which god had created the heavens and the earth. Casting aside the worship of the idols as foolishness since they had been made by men, the Saint came to believe in the one God and began to fast and to pray to Him with increasingly fervor to reveal Himself to her. God heard her prayers and sent an angel to the Saint to tell her of the coming of the Christ into the world and to forewarn her of the sort of death she would suffer for her faith in Christ her Bridegroom.

After the angel's visit St. Christina destroyed the idols she had cared for and cast them out. When the Saint's father learned what had happened he had his daughter beaten and thrown into prison. When she would not recant the Christian Faith at her trial the governor had St. Christina bound to an iron wheel with a fire set beneath and tortured in this way before being returned to prison. An angel visited the Saint the following night, healing her many wounds and giving her food. Seeing this Urban had his daughter thrown into the sea with weights, but the weights sank while she remained on the sea's surface.

St. Christina underwent many tortures for her faith in the Christ and her witness was so strong that roughly three hundred of the people of Tyre were converted to the Orthodox Faith because of her sufferings. The Saint was finally taken from this world to the next when the new governor of Tyre had her beheaded. More on her life can be found here. May St. Christina's blessing and prayers be with us all!

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