July 24

From the Prologue

Christina was born in the city of Tyre the daughter of Urban, the imperial deputy, an idol worshipper. The reason her parents gave her the name of Christina is unknown but it concealed the mystery of her future following of Christ. Until age eleven, she knew nothing of Christ. When she reached the age of eleven her father, in order to conceal her from the world because of her extraordinary beauty until she fully matured, designated the highest floor of a tall tower for her to live. All the comforts of life were afforded her; slaves were given to serve her, gold and silver idols were placed in her quarters so that she may offer daily sacrifices to them. However, in this idolatrous environment, it was difficult for the soul of young Christina. Looking out through the window each day at the sun and all the beauty of the world then, again at night, at the miraculous cluster of shining stars, Christina, through her own natural understanding came to the firm belief in the One Living God. The merciful God, seeing her longing for the truth, sent His angel who traced the sign of the cross upon Christina and called her the bride of Christ and completely instructed her in godly understanding. Christina then smashed all the idols in her quarters and provoked wild fury in her father. Her father brought her to trial and handed her over to be tortured and, after that, threw her into the dungeon with the intention to behead her the next day. That night Urban, completely healthy, parted from his soul and went to the grave before his daughter. After that two imperial deputies, Dion and Julian, continued to torture this holy virgin. Christina's courageous endurance and her miracles, which she worked by the power of God, converted many pagans of Tyre to Christianity. During the torturing of Christina, Dion suddenly fell dead in the midst of the people. Dion's successor, Julian, severed the breasts and tongue of Christina. The martyr took her tongue and threw it into Julian's face and he was instantly blinded. Finally her suffering for Christ ended by death beneath the sharp sword and her life continues in the immortal kingdom of the angels. Christina honorably suffered in the third century.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas