June 13

From the Prologue

Aquilina was born in the Palestinian town of Byblus of honorable Christian parents. At age seven, little Aquilina was already completely versed in the true Christian life and at age ten she was so filled with divine understanding and the grace of the Holy Spirit that she, with great power and zealousness, preached Christ to her female companions. When Diocletian's persecution began, someone accused Aquilina before Volusian, the imperial deputy, who was more like a beast than a man. At first, Volusian ordered that Aquilina be flogged and after that, a red hot rod be pierced through her ears and brain. Until the last moment, the virgin Aquilina freely and openly confessed Christ the Lord and when her brain and blood began to flow from her head, she fell as though dead. The deputy, thinking Aquilina was indeed dead, ordered her body to be carried outside the city and thrown upon a dung heap for the dogs to consume. But, an angel of God appeared to her at night and said to her: "Arise, and be whole!" And the virgin arose and was whole and for a long time she offered up praise of thanksgiving to God imploring Him not to deprive her to fulfill her martyr's mortification. A voice from heaven was heard: "Go, it will be to you as you pray" and Aquilina set out for the town. The gates of the town opened on their own accord before her and she entered like a spirit into the palace of the deputy and appeared before his bed. The deputy was seized with unspeakable fear, seeing the virgin alive whom he thought was dead. The following day, according to his command, the executioners led Aquilina out to behead her. Before her beheading, the virgin Aquilina prayed to God on her knees and gave up her soul. The executioner beheaded her lifeless head. Her relics gave healing to many of the sick. Aquilina was twelve years old when she suffered for the Lord: suffered and crowned with the martyr's wreath in the year 293 A.D.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas