Orthodox icon of the Forty Women Saints (Martyrs) and the Deacon Ammoun, at Heraclea in Thrace.
Commemorated September 1st.
On the first day of September, which marks the opening of our ecclesiastical year, the Church opens its golden pages of martyrdom by celebrating the resolve of the forty women virgin ascetic martyrs who put to shame the torture mechanisms of Licinius. The forty women virgin martyrs lived in Adrianoupolis of Thrace, in northeast Greece, and they were disciples of Deacon Ammoun.
After this, a red-hot iron helmet was placed on his head. The above tortures caused no apparent harm to this athlete of Christ, so he was transported to Heraklea of Thrace, to the tyrant Licinius, along with the holy virgins. Licinius ordered to have ten of the virgin martyrs burned by fire, and another eight beheaded, along with deacon Ammoun. Another ten were put to death by the sword, being struck in the mouth or in the heart, thus giving up their spirit. Of those remaining, six were martyred by being forced to swallow sizzling hot iron marbles, and the last six were cut to pieces by knives.
Ss. Ten of Crete icon
Orthodox icon of the Ten (10) Saints of Crete . Icon of 17th cent. Monastery of Saint Catherine Sinai.
Comemmorated December 23.
Ss. Theodoroi icon (1)
Orthodox icon of Saint Theodore the General and Saint Theodore of Tyron.
Orthodox icon of both Saints Theorodoi, Theodore (2). Copy of an icon of 16th cent. Monastery of Saint Catherine, Sinai.
Ss. Timothy and Maura the Martyrs icon
Orthodox icon of Saints Timothy and Maura the Martyrs.
Commemorated May 3.
Saints Timothy and Maura suffered for the faith during the persecution under the emperor Diocletian (284-305). St Timothy came from the village of Perapa (Egyptian Thebaid), and was the son of a priest named Pikolpossos. He was made a reader among the church clergy, and also a keeper and copyist of divine service books. St Timothy was denounced as a keeper of Christian books, which the emperor ordered to be confiscated and burned. They brought St Timothy before the governor Arian, who demanded that he hand over the sacred books. They subjected the saint to horrible tortures for his refusal to obey the command. They shoved two red-hot iron rods into his ears, from which the sufferer lost his eyesight and became blind.
St Timothy bravely endured the pain and he gave thanks to God, for granting him to suffer for Him. The torturers hung the saint head downwards, putting a piece of wood in his mouth, and they tied a heavy stone to his neck. St Timothy’s suffering was so extreme, that even those who tortured him implored the governor to ease up on the torture.
About this time they informed Arian that Timothy had a young wife named Maura, whom he had married only twenty days before. Arian ordered Maura to be brought, 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 to cut the fingers off her hands.
St Maura underwent the torment with joy and even thanked the governor for the torture, which she endured so that her sins might be forgiven. Then Arian gave orders to throw St Maura into a boiling cauldron, but she did not feel any pain, and she remained unharmed. Suspecting that the servants had filled the cauldron with cold water out of sympathy for the martyr, Arian went up and ordered the saint to splash him on the hand with water from the cauldron. When the martyr did this, Arian screamed with pain and drew back his scalded hand. Then, 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. But 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. Then the people began to murmur and demand a stop to the abuse of this innocent woman. But St Maura, turning to the people, said, “Let no one defend me. I have one Defender, God, in Whom I trust.”
Finally, after torturing them for a long time, Arian ordered the martyrs to be crucified. For ten days they hung on crosses facing each other.
On the tenth day of martyrdom the saints offered up their souls to the Lord. This occurred in the year 286. Later, a solemn celebration of the holy martyrs Timothy and Maura was instituted at Constantinople, and a church was built in their honor.
St. Tabitha the Merciful icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Tabitha, the Merciful. Contemporary icon.
Commemorated October 25th.
Saint Tabitha, the widow raised from the dead by the Apostle Peter, was a virtuous and kindly woman, belonged to the Christian community in Joppa. Being grievously ill, she suddenly died. At the time, the Apostle Peter was preaching at Lydda, not far from Joppa. Messengers were sent to him with an urgent request for help. When the Apostle arrived at Joppa, Tabitha was already dead. On bended knee, Saint Peter made a fervent prayer to the Lord. Then he went to the bed and called out, “Tabitha, get up!” She arose, completely healed (Acts 9:36).
Saint Tabitha is considered the patron Saint of tailors and seamstresses, since she was known for sewing coats and other garments (Acts 9:39).
St. Tatiana of Rome icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Tatiana, Tatiane of Rome.
Commemorated January 12th.
Saint Tatiana or Tatiane lived in Rome, she was a deaconess and became a martyr of the early Church in 3rd cent.
St. Telemachos icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Telemachos, Telemachus. Contemporary icon.
Commemorated January 1.
St. Thaddeus the Apostle icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Thaddeus, Judas or Jude the Apostle.
Commemorated June 19th.
St. Thalia icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Thalia.
Commemorated September 1.
Saint Thalia is one of the 40 Virgin- Martyrs.
St. Theano icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Theano.
Commemorated September 1st.
Saint Theano was one of the 40 Virgin Women Martyrs of Herakleia.
St. Thekla Equal to Apostles icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Thekla, Thecla the First Martyr and Equal to Apostles
Commemorated September 24th.
St. Themistocles icon
Orthodox icon of Saint Themistocles, Themistokles, the Martyr of Myra in Lycia.
Commemorated December 21.
Saint Themistocles was born in Myra of Lycia in the 3rd century AD. He was a shepherd in trade and a fervent Christian full of goodness. In the mid 3rd century AD emperor Decius began a great persecution against Christians. The leader of Lycia then was Asclepius. His soldiers were searching for Christians of the area and led them to the Asclepius to try them.One of those Christians was Dioscorides.
In 250 AD the soldiers of Asclepios pursued Dioscorides who fled to the mountain where St. Themistocles was herding his sheep. He sought from help from the Saint, who naturally hid Dioscorides from his pursuers. At one point the soldiers arrived there and asked St. Themistocles if he had seen the fugitive. The Saint told them to stop pursuing Dioscorides and to grant him life. They told him that unless he would reveal what he knew, they would take him. And this is what happened.
The Saint was led to Asclepius court where he amazed those who were standing near with the goodness of his word and the wisdom of his responses. Asclepius ordered him to give up Dioscorides that he save his life and be saved from tortures which he would face. St. Themistocles, fervent Christian that he was, responded that it did not matter if they tortured or killed him. He responded that it would be his joy to witness for his faith in Jesus Christ.Asclepius ordered them to torture the Saint and deliver him to the executioners.
They stretched the Saint's limbs and beat him in the stomach where his internal organs were. They continued to hang him from a tree in order to flay him with iron claws. The Saint from the tree said to Asclepius that on the tree (in other words the Cross) Christ was glorified and saved the world from its sins. Asclepius then ordered the death of St. Themistocles who was led by the executioners outside of the city where he was finally martyred. He was thrown onto bushes with thorns and there delivered his soul to the Creator.
The Christians of the city buried the body of St. Themistocles and cplanted the shepherd's staff that he had, as a shepherd, next to his grave. This staff, in a miraculous manner, sprouted and became an almond tree. For many years after the death of the Saint, the almonds healed the sick.