March 1

From the Prologue

Antonina was born in Nicaea. Because of her faith in Christ, she was arrested and brutally tortured. Finally, she was sewn in a sack and drowned in a lake in the year 302 A.D. God saved her soul and continuously glorified her among the angels in heaven and among the faithful on earth.



At one time, a woman filled with sin,

And finally, a meek penitent,

Eudocia prayed to God,

All the while kneeling, shedding tears.

This enkindled the rage of Satan,

And enraged, to the heavens he cried out:

O Michael, heavenly commander,

Justice you speak, injustice you do to me,

My sheepfold you intend to empty completely,

And from me, to seize the last sheep.

Why do you take this sinful woman?

Her sins are greater than mine!

For some minor disobedience,

To Hades I fell and, into eternal torments.

Her sins are as the stagnant sea

Encompassing everything that comes near her.

Thus, malice spites at good,

To every penitent it bodes evil,

While Michael, the guardian of the penitent,

With angels approach Eudocia

And takes her under his protection,

By his breath, he dispelled the demons.

At that moment from heaven a song echoed:

The mercy of God so willed,

That every penitent be embraced,

That every penitent be forgiven,

Repentance--for all mankind, salvation,

That is both God's mercy and will--

God's will--Satan's evil will.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas