Orthodox Icon of Saint Theodora of Vasta.
Comemmorated September 11th.
Her church in the Peloponnese has become a great place of pilgrimage in Greece, where many hasten for healings of soul and body, or solely to see the miraculous trees that are part of her chapel. St Theodora lived during the tenth century on the Peloponnesus in Greece, near the border between the regions of Messenia and Arcadia in a town called Vasta.
When the area was raided by bandits, Theodora was determined to help defend her village, but as a woman it was unthinkable to do so. Not to be deterred, Theodora secretly disguised herself as a male soldier in order to join the defense. She did not survive.
On her death bed, tradition holds that she prayed: "My Christ, forgive my enemies. Let my body become a church, my hair a forest of trees, and my blood a spring to water them." his became true, for at the site of her martyrdom was built a church. "This small chapel supports 17 large trees that emerge from the roof and the walls of the chapel. Each tree weighs close to a ton and stands over 20 meters high. For hundreds of years, the roots have not been visible.
Locals could not find a scientific explanation for this phenomenon. Many researchers have spent years studying this structure, even X-raying the walls, but have no explanation for the roots of the trees. In 2003, a geophysical report was presented at the 4th Symposium of Archaeometry in Greece. The results of this investigation proved that the roots followed the gaps existing inside the stone wall of the chapel creating repulsion stresses between the stones and thus reaching the ground.
Ss. 40 Women Martyrs in Heraclea icon
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.
The name of the Martyrs are: Adamantine, Athena, Akrive, Antigone, Arivoea, Aspasia, Aphrodite, Dione, Dodone, Elpinike, Erasmia, Erato, Ermeneia, Euterpe, Thaleia, Theano, Theano, Theonymphe, Theophane, Kalliroe, Kalliste, Kleio or Clio or Klio, Kleonike, Cleopatra, Koralia or Coralia, Lambro, Margarita, Marianthe, Melpomene, Moscho, Ourania, Pandora, Penelope, Polymnia, Polynike, Sapfo, Terpsichore, Troada, Haido, and Harikleia or Hariklia. Deacon Ammoun was hanged, and had his ribcage opened with knives.
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)
Ss. Theodoroi icon (2)