Tuesday, July 6, 2010

St. Kyriake (Domnica) the Great Virgin Martyr of Nicomedia

St. Kyriake (Domnica) the Great Virgin Martyr of Nicomedia - Commemorated on July 7 (http://ia301508.us.archive.org/3/items/Icoane/0707SfMcChiriachia03.jpg)
"Saint Kyriake was the only child of Dorotheus and Eusebia. Since she was born on a Sunday (Kyriake, in Greek), she was named Kyriake.

One day a wealthy magistrate wished to betroth Kyriake to his son. Not only was she young and beautiful, but her parents were wealthy, and the magistrate wished to control that wealth. The magistrate went to her parents to request her hand, but St Kyriake told him that she wished to remain a virgin, for she had dedicated herself to Christ.

The magistrate was angered by her words, so he went to the emperor Diocletian to denounce the saint and her parents as Christians who mocked the idols, and refused to offer sacrifice to them.

St. Kyriake the Great Martyr (http://pravicon.com/images/sv/s1153/s1153001.jpg)
Diocletian sent soldiers to arrest the family and have them brought before him. He asked them why they would not honor the gods which he himself honored. They told him that these were false gods, and that Christ was the one true God.

Dorotheus was beaten until the soldiers grew tired and were unable to continue. Since neither flattery nor torment had any effect, Diocletian sent Dorotheus and Eusebia to Melitene on the eastern border between Cappadocia and Armenia. Then he sent St Kyriake to be interrogated by his son-in-law and co-ruler Maximian at Nicomedia.

Maximian urged her not to throw her life away, promising her wealth and marriage to one of Diocletian's relatives if she would worship the pagan gods. St Kyriake replied that she would never renounce Christ, nor did she desire worldly riches. Enraged by her bold answer, Maximian had her flogged. The soldiers who administered this punishment became tired, and had to be replaced three times.

Shamed by his failure to overcome a young woman, Maximian sent St Kyriake to Hilarion, the eparch of Bithynia, at Chalcedon. He told Hilarion to either convert Kyriake to paganism, or send her back to him.

Making the same promises and threats that Diocletian and Maximian had made before, Hilarion was no more successful than they were. St Kyriake challenged him to do his worst, because Christ would help her to triumph. The saint was suspended by her hair for several hours, while soldiers burned her body with torches. Not only did she endure all this, she also seemed to become more courageous under torture. Finally, she was taken down and put into a prison cell.

That night Christ appeared to her and healed her wounds. When Hilarion saw her the next day, he declared that she had been healed by the gods because they pitied her. Then Hilarion urged her to go to the temple to give thanks to the gods. She told him that she had been healed by Christ, but agreed to go to the temple. The eparch rejoiced, thinking that he had defeated her.

In the temple, St Kyriake prayed that God would destroy the soulless idols. Suddenly, there was a great earthquake which toppled the idols, shattering them to pieces. Everyone fled the temple in fear, leaving Hilarion behind. Instead of recognizing the power of Christ, the eparch blasphemed the true God as the destroyer of his pagan gods. He was struck by a bolt of lightning and died on the spot.

St Kyriake was tortured again by Apollonius, who succeeded Hilarion as eparch.

["Dominica said to Apollonius: "In no manner can you turn me away from my Faith. If you throw me into the fire, I have an example in the Three Youths [Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego]; if you throw me before wild beasts, I have an example in Daniel the Prophet; if you toss me into the sea, I have an example in Jonah the Prophet; if you give me over to the sword, I will remember the honorable Forerunner [John the Baptist]; life for me is to die for Christ." (http://www.westsrbdio.org/prolog/prolog.htm)]

St. Kyriake amidst the flames that are miraculously extinguished (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-H1PHnaKuGDY/ThSoPtcHqgI/AAAAAAAAIJA/kjBcx7up2eE/s1600/102_3318.JPG)

When she was cast into a fire, the flames were extinguished. When she was thrown to wild beasts, they became tame and gentle. Therefore, Apollonius sentenced her to death by the sword. She was permitted time to pray, so she asked God to receive her soul, and to remember those who honored her martyrdom.

Just as St Kyriake ended her prayer, angels took her soul before the soldiers could strike off her head. Pious Christians took her relics and buried them in a place of honor."
by St. Nikolai Velimirovitch
The only child, Saint Dominica,
Her parents, for the Faith died
Parents; God's saints.
The orphan, Saint Dominica,
What she possessed, to the poor she gave,
Only body and garment remained
And that, she sacrificed for Christ,
Dominica, as the dew, pure,
To be bribed by anything, did not allow,
To be lured by anyone, did not allow
Neither to be frightened by anything did allow.
But to suffering as to a wedding goes
Severe sufferings and deep wounds,
But sweet is the Name of Jesus!
Bitter pains, harsh humiliations,
But sweet is eternal reigning!
Her entire body, with red blood,
But the joy of Paradise is sweet!
O Dominica, God's chosen one,
And for Christ, wonderful martyr,
With a sword from the earth you were driven,
Wedded in glory, in heaven you were
Teach us the Faith to honor,
Encourage us, our life to give for her [the Faith],
By your prayers, help us
Wonderful candle, amidst the candles of Paradise.
Troparion - Tone 5
O virgin martyr Kyriake, you were a worthy sacrifice when you offered your pure soul to God; wherefore Christ has glorified you, and through you pours forth graces abundantly on all the faithful, for He is the merciful Loving God!
Kontakion in the Second Tone
The Martyr of Christ hath called us all together now to praise and acclaim her wrestlings and her godly feats; for possessed of manliness of mind, she hath proved to be worthy of her name, being lady and mistress of her mind and the passions of unseemliness.
Hymns from Ode Nine of the First Canon of the Saint (amateur translation)
Magnify my soul, the pure lamb of Christ, the Giver-of-Life
Most strong Virgin, who placed her hope in God, you endured threats and fire, and painful bodily tortures, O Martyr, and you humbled your brave mind, because of this we bless you in faith and fervor.

Magnify my soul, Kyriake, the bride of Christ the King
O most beautiful Bridegroom, fairest beauty, in your prepared soul, you preserved pure virginity, O Martyr, and received blows as a dowry, O most-praised Kyriake.

Magnify my soul, O divine Kyriake, from among the Champions
Your much-suffering body, buried in the earth, springs forth rivers of healings, to those who flee to you piously, and they receive the removal of passions and the cleansing of evil, and provision against the demons, O Kyriake, the bride of God.

O virgin Kyriake, grant me deliverance from my sins by your prayers.
Your all-holy memory, O martyr, has dawned like the sun for us, O Kyrake, dissipating the clouds of passions, and illumining all who truly honor you in faith, O virgin, and bless you with fervor.

Magnify my soul, the spotless Mother of the King of all.
We behold you as the most-radiant lamp of Him who was born of you, surpassing the mind, O Theotokos, and we are faithfully illumined, and delivered from passions, and all dangers and trials.

Second Canon of the Saint.
Angels, beholding the struggle of the Saint, were astonished, how a woman by nature, suffered such struggles.
That we may faithfully, O all-renowned Martyr, praise and celebrate your true and worthy to be praised, and light-bearing glorious memory, grant to all, deliverance and mercy, and salvation of souls, O most-praised one.

Angels and men honor the struggle of the Saint, and ceaselessly hymn Christ Who strengthened her.
O Kyriake, the boast of Martyrs, and pride of virginity, O glorious one, enlighten the darkness of my nous from the attacks of him who ever wars against us, that I may noetically behold the illumination of the Holy Trinity, and praise you.

All lovers of the feast of the Saint, now celebrate with fervor the struggle of Kyriake, decorated in hymns.
Protect us from above, O Kyriake, who celebrate your divine struggle, and preserve us unharmed, O glorious one, through your divine intercessions to the Creator, and grant us the remission of offenses, and mercy and salvation of souls.
St. Kyriake the Great Martyr, painted by the Fathers of Vatopedi Monastery (source)
Today the heavenly ranks of Champions and Virgins rejoice and skip at the memory of Kyriake.
Bestow grace now, O most-renowned one, on those who celebrate your revered and worthy to be praised memory with fervor, O renowned Kyriake, and also remission, through your intercessions, of sins, to those who ever praise you in faith.

Angels hastening to receive your soul, O Champion, bring it to the Creator and your beloved, O virgin.
I bring to mind, O pure one, the astonishing struggles and wrestlings and brave deeds that you endured, O glorious Virgin Martyr, suffering in the stadium for the love of Christ, for you were crowned with the dual crowns of virginity and martyrdom.

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
All ye faithful, let us worship the Divine Trinity, Father, Son and divine Spirit, the tri-hypostatic rule.
O Trinity: Father, Son and Comforter, the Holy Spirit, through the intercessions of the Champion Kyriake, O Lover of man, grant Your peace to Your Church, and strike down the pride of barbarians, and exalt the horn of Your people.

Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
All ye faithful, let us praise the Theotokos in hymns, the all-holy virgin, and Mother of the Savior.
Clothed in flesh from You, O All-pure One, the Logos took on a body, and became a citizen of this world, as merciful, [memenekos ouk ellaton] as formerly bodiless, and Who formerly deposed, through His divine power, him who tyrannizes all.
(amateur translation and changes from the Greek text, the full service of the Saint, here: http://voutsinasilias.blogspot.com/2010/07/7.html)

The precious, wonderworking Skull of St. Kyriake the Great Martyr, brought from Constantinople to the Monastery of the Taxiarchs, Aigio (Greece) in the 15th century, where it is treasured to this day (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wBrhfwcrW6Y/ThSo2U8CcGI/AAAAAAAAIJI/KO8MZ3ZehpY/s1600/102_3316.JPG) Also see: http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2008/12/st-leontios-righteous-of-monemvasia-and.html.
St. Kyriake the Great Martyr of Nicomedia (http://pravicon.com/images/sv/s1153/s1153002.jpg)

Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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