March 27

From the Prologue

As an orphan girl Matrona was a servant in the home of a Jew in Thessalonica. The wife of the Jew continuously mocked Matrona because of her faith in Christ and tried to persuade her to deny Christ and to attend the synagogue. But the meek Matrona went about her work conscientiously and did not say anything to her mistress. But in secret she prayed to Christ the God. On one occasion the Jewess discovered that Matrona was attending church unbeknown to her and, in anger, questioned her as to why she did not attend the synagogue rather than the church? To that, Matrona replied, "Because in the Christian churches, God lives and He withdraws from the Jewish synagogues." Furious, because of this type of bold reply, the Jewess beat Matrona, locked her up in a dark room, and, in addition to that, bound her hands. The next day as she was kneeling in prayer and glorifying God, her ropes had fallen off by the power of God. Afterwards, on two occasions, she was locked up again and, in the end, died of starvation. This evil Jewish woman then took the body of this holy maiden and hurled it to the ground from the heights of her home. Christians took the body of this martyr and buried it with honors. Alexander the bishop, learning of the many miraculous works of this holy martyr, erected a church over her grave. The evil Jewess received her just punishment when she slipped, fell to the pavement, and was smashed to death from the same spot at the top of the house from which she hurled down Matrona's body.

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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas