Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sts. Zenais and Philonilla the Sisters, and Righteous Unmercenary Women

Sts. Zenais and Philonilla the Sisters, and Righteous Unmercenary Women - Commemorated October 11th (

"The Martyrs Zenaida and Philonilla lived in Tarsus in Cilicia during the first century, and were related to the holy Apostle Paul. They were pious Christian women, and both of them shared a love of learning. By whatever means were available to them at that time, they acquired medical knowledge.

Icon of St. Zenaida (Zenais) the Martyr (taken from:

The two sisters left their home and settled in a cave near the city of Demetriada, where they lived in constant prayer and work. The citizens of Demetriada soon learned that there were two women doctors who gladly treated everyone who turned to them for help, yet did not require payment for their services. They also healed people's souls by converting them to Christ.

One night, some pagans went to their cave and stoned them. [Other accounts mention, however, that they died in peace. (] Sts Zenaida and Philonilla suffered martyrdom for Christ, thereby receiving incorruptible crowns of glory from the Lord." (taken from:

Icon of the Holy Unmercenary Women (and sisters, daughters of St. Philip the Deacon) Sts. Hermione, Philonella and Zenaida (taken from:

Apolytikion in the Third Tone (amateur translation)
The greatly-honored Tarsus let us honor, which blossomed forth the precious flowers: Zenais the Wise and Philonilla, for they possessed the unassailable crypt of the faith, and deposed all the ranks of the demons. And they therefore rejoice with the Angels, and ever intercede for us.

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

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