Holy Martyr Aquilina of Syria

June 13

Aquilina was born in the Palestinian town of Biblos of honorable Christian parents. At age seven little Aquilina was already completely versed in the true Christian life, and at age ten she was so filled with divine understanding and the grace of the Holy Spirit that she preached Christ to her female companions with great power and zeal. When Diocletian’s persecution began, someone accused Aquilina before Volusian, the imperial deputy, who was more like a beast than a man. Volusian first ordered that Aquilina be flogged and then that a red-hot rod be passed through her ears and brain. To the last moment, the virgin Aquilina freely and openly confessed Christ the Lord, but when her brains and blood began to flow from her head, she fell as though dead. The deputy, thinking Aquilina was indeed dead, ordered her body to be carried outside the city and thrown upon a dung heap for the dogs to consume. But an angel of God appeared to her at night and said to her: “Arise, and be whole!” The virgin arose and was whole, and for a long time she offered up praise of thanksgiving to God, imploring Him not to deprive her of fulfilling the ascetic feat of martyrdom. A voice from heaven was heard: “Go; it shall be unto you as you ask!” And Aquilina set out for the town. The gates of the town of their own accord before her, and she entered the palace of the deputy like a spirit and appeared before his bed. The Deputy was seized with unspeakable fear, seeing alive the virgin whom he thought was dead. The following day, at his command, the executioners led Aquilina out to behead her. Before her beheading, the virgin Aquilina prayed to God on her knees and gave up her soul. The executioner cut off her lifeless head. Her relics gave healing to many of the sick. Aquilina was twelve years old when she suffered for the Lord. She suffered and was crowned with a martyr’s wreath in the year 293.

Source: St. Nikolai Velimirovic, The Prologue of Ohrid – Volume One.

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