On this day also, the saints Abakir; John; the three virgins, Theodora (which means the gift of God), Theopisti "Theophana" (which means the faithfulness of God), and Theodosia (which means the glory of God); and their mother, Athanasia (which means the immortal), were martyred.
St. Abakir was a monk since his young age, and St. John was a soldier in the private guards of the Emperor. They left Alexandria, their own home town, and lived in Antioch. When Diocletian incited the persecution against the Christians, they confessed their faith in the Lord Christ along with the virgins and their mother.
When the Emperor knew that they were from Alexandria, he returned them to the governor of Alexandria. When they came to Alexandria, and were brought before the Governor, they confessed their faith in the Lord Christ. He ordered them beheaded. St. Athanasia was comforting and confirming her daughters and telling them that if they were martyred, they would become the brides of Christ. The virgins were beheaded first, then their mother, then St. Abakir and St. John. Their bodies were cast to the wild beasts and to the birds of the sky. However, some believers came and took their bodies by night and they placed them in a coffin and hid them until the end of the time of persecution.
Their prayers be with us, and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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