Virgin-martyr Pelagia of Tarsus in Asia Minor (287)

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Virgin-martyr Pelagia of Tarsus in Asia Minor (287)

  Admin 17, 2008 12:38 am

Virgin-martyr Pelagia of Tarsus in Asia Minor (287)


May 4

(May 17 West)

She was born in Tarsus (home of the Apostle Paul). Though her parents were prominent pagans, she heard of Christ from Christians in that city, and her heart was filled with love for the Savior. The Emperor Diocletian visited Tarsus, and during his stay the Emperor's son and heir fell in love with Pelagia and wished to marry her. To her parents' complete amazement, Pelagia replied that she was already promised to her betrothed, Christ the Lord. She then fled her parents' house and went to the holy Bishop Linus, who instructed her in the Faith and baptized her. Pelagia then gave away all her many possessions, returned home, and told her parents that she was baptised. The Emperor's son, despairing of marryng her, killed himself. Pelagia's mother then denounced her daughter to the Emperor, who summoned her for trial. When Pelagia freely confessed her unwavering faith in Christ, the Emperor condemned her to be burned in a metal ox heated by fire. An account of her martyrdom says that, entering the ox with prayers of thanksgiving on her lips, she instantly melted like wax. Bishop Linus, who had baptised her, found a few of her bones and buried them on a hill near Tarsus. During the reign of the Emperor Constantine Copronymus (741-775), a church was built there in her honor.

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