Virgin Martyrs Agape, Irene, and Chionia in Illyria

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Virgin Martyrs Agape, Irene, and Chionia in Illyria

  Admin 29, 2008 1:01 am

Virgin Martyrs Agape, Irene, and Chionia in Illyria (295 or 304)


April 16

(April 29 West)

Virgin Martyrs Agape, Irene, and Chionia in Illyria (295 or 304)

These three sisters lived in Aquilea. When the Emperor Diocletian was visiting there, he learned that they were Christians and had them brought to him. When they would not deny Christ, they were cast into prison, then handed over to a general named Dulcitius for torture. Dulcitius conceived a passion for the sisters, and entered the prison planning to defile them; but when he tried to enter, he was deprived of his reason and fell upon the dirty pots at the entrance, embracing and kissing them until he was completely black with soot. Hearing of this, the Emperor appointed another general to torment the sisters. After terrible tortures Agape and Chionia were burned, but the sadistic general, knowing her pledge of virginity to the Lord, ordered Irene to be put in a brothel. By God's providence she was shot with an arrow before she could be forced to endure this fate.
So ends the version given in the  Great Horologion. The Prologue gives a slightly different version: When Irene was being led to the brothel, an angel turned the soldiers back and led Irene to the top of a high hill. The next day the general came with his soldiers to capture her, but were unable to climb it. The general then ordered that Irene be shot with arrows.
St Anastasia, a prophetess in that town, gathered the bodies of all three sisters and gave them burial.

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