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Orthodox icon of Saint Melitina, Melitine, Μελιτινή of Marcianopolis. Copy of a contemporary icon.
Commemorated September 16.
The Holy Martyr Melitina lived in the city of Marcianopolis in Thrace during the rule of the emperor Antoninus Pius ((138-161). She was a fervent Christian, and the Lord blessed her with the gift of wonderworking. By the power of her prayers she shattered the idols of Apollo and Herakles.
Her fiery preaching converted many pagans to Christ. Antiochus, the governor of the city of Marcianopolis, ordered that she be tortured, since this holy woman could not be persuaded to deny Christ. She was handed over to the governor’s women who tried to convert her by flattery and kindness. Not only was Saint Melitina not deceived or softened by their efforts, but she made Christians of the governor’s women. When the governor learned of this, he had Saint Melitina brought to trial, and sentenced her to be beheaded.
A Christian named Acacius reverently took the martyr’s body with the intention of burying her in his homeland of Macedonia. During the voyage, however, Acacius fell sick and died. The ship stopped at the island of Limnos, where the body of Saint Melitina was buried. The martyr-loving Acacius was laid to rest beside her grave.