THE VENERABLE FEMALE

June 25

From the Prologue

Febronia was the daughter of Prosphorus, a senator from Rome. In order to avoid marriage with a mortal man, Febronia betrothed herself to Christ and was tonsured a nun in the east, in the country of Assyria, in a convent where her aunt Bryaena was abbess. Lysimachus, the son of a nobleman, desired to wed Febronia but since Emperor Diocletian suspected him to be a secret Christian, he sent Lysimachus to the east with his uncle Silenus to apprehend and kill Christians. Silenus was as cruel as a beast and exterminated Christians everywhere without mercy. Lysimachus, on the contrary, spared the Christians wherever he could and hid them from his beast-like uncle. Making Palmyra a wasteland of Christians, Silenus came to the town of Nisibis close to which was a convent with fifty ascetics among whom was Febronia. Even though she was only twenty years old, Febronia was respected in the convent and in the town because of her great meekness, wisdom and restraint. In this convent the rule of the former abbess Blessed Platonida was adhered to in that every Friday be spent only in prayer and the reading of the sacred books without any other type of work. Bryaena had designated Febronia to read the sacred books to the sisters hidden behind a curtain so that no one would be distracted and captivated by the beauty of her face. Hearing about Febronia, Silenus ordered that Febronia be brought to him. But, when the holy virgin refused to deny Christ and to agree to enter into marriage with a mortal man, Silenus ordered her to be whipped, and after that to knock out her teeth, cut off her hands, breasts then legs and finally to slay her with a sword. However, a horrible punishment from God befell the torturer the same day. A rage entered into him and he was overcome by a deadly horror. In this horror he struck his head against a marble pillar and fell dead. Lysimachus ordered that Febronia's body be gathered and brought to the convent where it was honorably buried and he, with many other soldiers, were baptized. Many healings have occurred from the relics of St. Febronia and she appeared on the day of her feast and stood in her usual place among the sisters and all the sisters looked upon her with fear and rejoicing. St. Febronia suffered and took up habitation in eternal blessedness in the year 310 A.D. In the year 363 A.D., her relics were translated to Constantinople.





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