On this day, the holy, and pure fifty virgins and their mother Sophia, were martyred. These saints were from different countries. Divine love and ascetic life had brought them together and they lived in a convent for virgins in El-Raha. St. Sophia, the head nun, was filled with every wisdom and grace. She raised them with a spiritual upbringing until they became as angels on earth. They continually prayed, fasted and read the holy Books and chronicles of the monks and saints. Among them were some who had dwelt in the convent for 70 years and some were young in age but firm in faith and of strong conviction.
When Emperor Julian the Infidel heard that Shapur, King of Persia, intended to fight him, he prepared his army and set out against Shapur. The city of El-Raha was on his way and when he passed by the convent of these virgins, he ordered the soldiers to kill everyone in it and to rob the convent. The soldiers carried out the order, they cut the nuns with swords into pieces and took everything they found.
The Lord took vengeance on this evil Emperor by having him stabbed by the spear of a knight at war. (It was said that he was Saint Marcurius) The Emperor fell down from his horse and died in the year 363 A.D. As for the holy virgins, they received the crown of martyrdom.
Their prayers be with us. Amen.
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