The Departure of St. Thecla
On this day, St. Thecla, who was contemporary to St. Paul the Apostle, departed. When St. Paul went forth from Antioch and came to the city of Nicomedia, there was a certain believer, whose name was Sefaros, took him to his house. Many gathered together to hear St. Paul's teaching. When this virgin Thecla heard St. Paul's teaching, she looked out from the window of her house so that she might hear more of his teachings. Her heart was pleased with his teachings, and she followed the apostle. Her father and her family were grieved and wanted to prevent her from following St. Paul to his meetings. When she did not heed their counsel, her father presented her situation to the governor, to prevent her from listening to St. Paul's teachings. The governor brought the apostle Paul, examined his teachings, and when he could find no cause for complaint against him, he shut him up in prison.
St. Thecla took off her expensive attire and ornaments, and came to St. Paul in prison, and bowed down at his feet. When her parents sought her, they could not find her. When they found out that she was with St. Paul in prison, the Governor ordered to burn her. Her mother cried out saying, "Burn her to be an example for the other women of noble families who believe in the teaching of the Apostle." They threw her in the fire, which did not harm her. She escaped and came to St. Paul, then went to Antioch. There, a nobleman saw her, and was captivated with her beauty. He asked to marry her, but she refused saying, "I am the pride of Christ." He informed the governor of the city about her, who seized her and cast her to the lions, which did not harm her for two days. Then she came to where St. Paul was, he comforted her, strengthened her and commanded her to preach Christ in Iconium. She went there and preached the Faith of Christ, and then went to her own city and converted her father to the Faith of Christ. Having finished her fight, she departed in peace.
May her prayers be with us. Amen.
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