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Monday, March 12, 2018

The 9 Saints nonuplet sisters Virgin-Martyrs of Portugal: Saints Wilgefortis (Liberata) the crusified, Marina, Quiteria, Genibera, Eufemia, Marciana, Germana, Basilia & Victoria the Virgin-Martyrs in Mediterranean (+139) & Saint Ovidius 3rd Bishop of Braga, Portugal (+135)


PORTUGAL OF MY HEART




The 9 nonuplet sisters Virgin-Martyrs of Portugal:

Saints Wilgefortis (Liberata) the crusified, Marina, Quiteria, Genibera, Eufemia, Marciana, Germana, Basilia & Victoria the Virgin-Martyrs in Mediterranean (+139)

& Saint Ovidius 3rd Bishop of Braga, Portugal (+135)

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

Saint Virgin-Martyr Wilgefortis or Liberata the crusified

in some icons show her with a beard in a memory of Virgin Mary's miracle

to avoid to marry the pagan king

The names of the 9 Virgin-Martyrs from Portugal:

Saint Wilgefortis or Liberata or Eutropia the crucified, Virgin-Martyr in Aguas Santas, Spain (July 20, +139)

Saint Marina or Margarida, Virgin-Martyr in Aguas Santas, Spain  (January 18, +139)

Saint Quiteria, Virgin-Martyr in Aire-sur-l’Adour, France (May 22, +139)

Saint Eufemia or Eumelia, Virgin-Martyr in Braga, Portugal (September 16, +139)

Saint Marciana or Marica, Virgin-Martyr in Toledo, Spain (January 9, +139)

Saint Germana Virgin-Martyr and the Saints Paul, Gerontius, January, Saturninus, Suxessus, Julius, Katus and Pia, Martyrs in Numidia, North Africa (January 19, +139)

Saint Victoria / Vitoria / Rita, Virgin-Martyr from Braga, Portugal (November 17, +139)

Saint Genibera / Genebra / Gemma, Virgin-Martyr from Braga, Portugal (+139)

Saint Basilia or Basilissa, Virgin-Martyr from Braga, Portugal (July 12, +139)

Feast days: Jan 9, 18 & 19, May 22, June 3, July 12 & 20, Sep 16

The Saints 9 Virgin-Martyrs of Portugal were born in the year 119 A.D. in Braga, Portugal. They were the daughters of pagan Castelius Lucius Severus and Calsia.

Her mother, Calsia was disgusted at the fact that she went through nine childbirths and not one of them was male. She called on her maid Sila to dispose of them by drowning the nine infants. Sila was a follower of Christianity so she ended up giving the babies to a Christian monk to be raised in the Christian community. Their father King Lucio was completely unaware of their birth.

Saint Ovidius the Bishop of Braga in Portugal, took care of the girls, baptized them Christian, and taught them all about Christianity. St Quiteria was the most dedicated out of her sisters when it came to their faith. She was fascinated with the Virgin Mary and the words of Christ. The monk eventually told the girls that their biological parents were the Royal Rulers of the country, but none of them had the desire to live a luxurious life.

St Wilgefortis (Liberata), St Quiteria and their seven other sisters around breaking Christians out of jail. This lasted for a few years until they were caught and brought to the King. Once the King realized who they were he asked them to live in the palace. While the sisters lived there they praised Jesus everyday and eventually turned their room into a prayer hall. When the King realized they were Christians he told them to give it up and marry Roman pagans. They refused and were locked up in jail. In jail they praised and glorified Jesus, and eventually an angel came and told St Quiteria “Happy and fortunate you are, for you deserved to find grace in front of God, so that God has chosen you as his spouse. It is God's will, that you are to live in solitude in the mount Oria and there you will exercise in oration and contemplation”. The angel released them from jail and they escaped all going in different directions. St Quiteria followed the angel and lived on the top of a mountain, where she was eventually captured. Once she again declined the marriage offer, she was imprisoned. Again she was freed by an angel, and returned to the mountain along with a group of other women whom she converted to Christianity. Along the way she had received the crown of martyrdom, and met Prosen Lastiano the ruler of the city Aufragia. She converted him to Christianity, but then a few days later he gave it up and became a pagan again. Prosen and his soldiers reached the mountain with intentions to kill her, but as the were ascending he fell down suddenly and lost all feeling in his hands and legs. Through the prayer of St Quiteria he regained his senses, and became full of faith. King Lucio was

Monday, November 27, 2017

Saint Greatmartyr Ketevan the Queen of Georgia (+1624) - September 13


SAINT NINA & GEORGIA OF MY HEART



Saint Greatmartyr Ketevan the Queen of Georgia (+1624)

September 13

Source:

https://oca.org

https://oca.org/saints/lives/2017/09/13/102608-greatmartyr-ketevan-the-queen-of-georgia

ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA

The holy Queen Ketevan was the daughter of Ashotan Mukhran-Batoni, a prominent ruler from the Bagrationi royal family. The clever and pious Ketevan was married to Prince David, heir to the throne of Kakheti. David’s father, King Alexander II (1574-1605), had two other sons, George and Constantine, but according to the law the throne belonged to David. Constantine was converted to Islam and raised in the court of the Persian shah Abbas I.

Several years after David and Ketevan were married, King Alexander stepped down from the throne and was tonsured a monk at Alaverdi. But after four months, in the year 1602, the young king David died suddenly. He was survived by his wife, Ketevan, and two children—a son, Teimuraz, and a daughter, Elene—and his father ascended the throne once more.

Upon hearing of David’s death and Alexander’s return to the royal throne, Shah Abbas commanded Alexander’s youngest son, Constantine-Mirza, to travel to Kakheti, murder his father and the middle brother, George, and seize the throne of Kakheti. As instructed, Constantine-Mirza beheaded his father and brother, then sent their heads, like a precious gift, to Shah Abbas.

Their headless bodies he sent to Alaverdi. (Since the beginning of the 11th century, Alaverdi had been the resting place of the Kakhetian kings.) The widowed Queen Ketevan was left to bury her father-in-law and brother-in-law.

But Constantine-Mirza was still unsatisfied, and he proposed to take Queen Ketevan as his wife.

Outraged at his proposition, the nobles of Kakheti rose up and killed the young man who had committed patricide and profaned his Faith and the throne. Having buried the wicked Constantine-Mirza with the honor befitting his royal ancestry, Ketevan sent generous gifts to Shah Abbas and requested that he proclaim her son, Teimuraz, the rightful heir to the throne.

While she was awaiting his reply, Ketevan assumed personal responsibility for the rule of Kakheti. Concerned that, if he denied this request, Kakheti would forcibly separate from him and unite with Kartli, Shah Abbas hastily sent Prince Teimuraz to Georgia, laden with great wealth.

In 1614 Shah Abbas informed King Teimuraz that his son would be taken hostage, and Teimuraz was forced to send his young son Alexander and his mother Ketevan to Persia. As a final attempt to divide the royal family of Kakheti, Shah Abbas demanded that the eldest prince, Levan, be brought before him, and he finally summoned King Teimuraz himself.

The shah’s intentions were clear: to hold all of the royal family in Persia and send his own viceroys to rule in Kakheti. He sought to eliminate King Luarsab II of Kartli as well, but Teimuraz and Luarsab agreed to attack the Persian army with joint forces and drive the enemy out of Georgia.

Shah Abbas sent his hostages, Queen Ketevan and her grandsons, deep into Persia, while he himself launched an attack on Kakheti.

With fire and the sword the godless ruler plundered all of Georgia. The royal palace was razed, churches and monasteries were destroyed, and entire villages were abandoned. By order of the shah, more than three hundred thousand Georgians were exiled to Persia, and their homes were occupied by Turkic tribes from Central Asia. Hunger and violence reigned over Georgia.

The defeated Georgian kings Teimuraz and Luarsab sought refuge with King George III of Imereti.

After they had spent five years exiled in Shiraz (Persia), the princes Alexander and Levan were separated from Ketevan and castrated in Isfahan. Alexander could not endure the suffering and died, while Levan went mad.

Saint Ketevan, meanwhile, remained a prisoner of the ruler of southeastern Persia, the ethnic Georgian imam Quli-Khan Undiladze, who regarded the widowed Queen of Kakheti with great respect. According to his command, Ketevan was not to discover the fate of her grandsons.

Queen Ketevan spent ten years in prison, praying for her motherland and loved ones with all her might and adhering to a strict ascetic regime. Constant fasting, prayer and a stone bed exhausted her previously pampered body, but in spirit she was courageous and full of vitality. She looked after those assigned to her care and instructed them in the spiritual life.

After some time Abbas resolved to convert Ketevan to Islam, and he announced his intention to marry her. He asked that his proposal be conveyed to her the same day she was informed of the fate of her grandsons. As a condition of their marriage, Abbas insisted that Ketevan renounce the Christian Faith and convert to Islam. In the case of her acquiescence, Imam Quli-Khan was to respect and honor her as a queen, and in the case of her refusal, to subject her to public torture.

The alarmed imam begged the queen to submit to the shah’s will and save herself, but the queen firmly refused and began to prepare for her martyrdom. (According to one foreign observer, her steadfastness delayed the Islamization of the Georgians in Persia: “In the course of a conversation at the court of Shah Abbas, where a young and recently converted Georgian was present, the question arose as to why it was that, while all young Georgians were forced to embrace Islam, their mothers were not. The explanation given by one of those present was that since the Queen would not change her faith Georgian mothers likewise refused.” (Z. Avalishvili, “Teimuraz I and His Poem ‘The Martyrdom of Queen Ketevan,’” Georgica [vol I, no. 4/5, 1937] pp. 22.)

Queen Ketevan was robed in festive attire and led out to a crowded square. Her persecutors subjected her to indescribable torment: they placed a red-hot copper cauldron on her head, tore at her chest with heated tongs, pierced her body with glowing spears, tore off her fingernails, nailed a board to her spine, and finally split her forehead with a red-hot spade.

Saint Ketevan’s soul departed from her body, and the executioners cast her mutilated body to the beasts. But the Lord God sent a miracle: her holy relics were illumined with a radiant light.

A group of French Augustinian missionary fathers, who had witnessed the inhuman tortures, wrapped Queen Ketevan’s body in linens scented with myrrh and incense and buried it in a Catholic monastery.

Some time later the holy relics of Great-martyr Ketevan were delivered to her son, Teimuraz, King of Kakheti.

Teimuraz wept bitterly for his mother and sons and buried the relics with great honor in the Alaverdi Cathedral of Saint George.