On the first day of September, which marks the opening of our ecclesiastical year, the Church opens its golden pages of martyrdom by celebrating the resolve of the forty women virgin ascetic martyrs who put to shame the torture mechanisms of Licinius. The forty women virgin martyrs lived in Adrianoupolis of Thrace, in northeast Greece, and they were disciples of Deacon Ammoun. During that time, around 305 AD, the emperor of the eastern region of the Roman Empire was Licinius, a dreadful persecutor of Christianity. Licinius had instituted a decree for the annihilation of all Christians who refused to sacrifice to idols. The decree of this bloodthirsty tyrant soon reached all cities, towns, and villages. Christians were slaughtered like lambs, refusing to submit to his soul-destroying promises and choosing rather to die for the love of their heavenly bridegroom.
Icon of St. Margarita (Margaret) the Virgin Martyr (taken from: http://christopherklitou.com/icon_1_sept_margaret.htm)
Icon of St. Athena the Virgin Martyr (taken from: http://christopherklitou.com/icon_1_sept_athena.htm)
Icon of St. Aspasia the Virgin Martyr (taken from: http://christopherklitou.com/icon_1_sept_aspasia.htm)