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St. Sabina, Martyr, at Rome

Commemorated on August 29

St. Sabina was the widow of Valentinus and the daughter of Herod Metallarius. 

She lived in Rome and was converted to Christianity by her female slave, Serapia. 

In 126, Serapia was put to death for her faith and later, in the same year, Sabina suffered martyrdom.

In 430, Sabina’s relics were brought to the Aventine in Rome, where a basilica was built in her honor.

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St. Pandwyna of Eltisley, Cambridgeshire

Commemorated on August 26

St. Pandwyna was a holy virgin born in either Scotland or Ireland.

She was a nun at Eltisley, located about four miles from St. Neots in Cambridgeshire, where a church is dedicated to her. 

The hagiographer Leland recorded that Pandwyna was a daughter of a king of the Scots, who fled from those who would deflower her to a kinswoman who was prioress of Eltisley.

St. Pandwyna died in 904 and was buried near the St. Pandonia Well in Eltisley.  Her relics were translated into the church there in 1344.

By permission of

St. Patricia of Naples

Commemorated on August 25

St. Patricia was born in Constantinople in the seventh century and was related to the imperial family.  

After deciding to dedicate her life to God, she fled to escape an arranged marriage.  St. Patricia went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and then to Rome, where she consecrated herself to God as a virgin.  She then returned to Constantinople and gave away all of her possessions. 

She is the patron saint of Naples where she entered into the Heavenly Kingdom in 665.  It is said that a vial of her blood liquefies periodically.

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St. Lucilla, along with St. Nemesius, at Rome

Commemorated on August 25

St. Lucilla was the daughter of Nemesius, a deacon. 

Lucilla was blind from her birth, and was taken by her father to be cured and baptized by St. Stephen, the Bishop of Rome.  Many others were converted and baptized on account of the miracle.

Learning of this deed, Emperor Valerian ordered Nemesius to be imprisoned and Lucilla to be given to a wicked woman, named Maxima.  However, after a few days, Nemesius and Lucilla were taken without trial to the temple of Mars in the Via Appia in Rome, and there Lucilla's throat was cut, before her father's eyes.

Nemesius rejoiced to see her go before him to the martyr's glory. He was beheaded between the Via Latina and Via Appia.

They both entered into the Heavenly Kingdom in 260.

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St. Ebba the Elder

Commemorated on August 25

St. Ebba the Elder was the abbess and founder of the Coldingham Monastery on the Scottish border.  She was the sister of Sts. Oswald and Oswy, Kings of Nothumbria. 

She became a nun at Lindisfarne, before she founded the Coldingham Monastery.

St. Ebba entered into the Heavenly Kingdom in 683.

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St. Hunegund of France

Commemorated on August 25

St. Hunegund was born at Lembais, an estate belonging to her parents, near the town of St. Quentin, in the early seventh century.  Being a heiress of considerable means, she was betrothed in her infancy to another child, who died at an early age.  When she came to marriageable age, she was betrothed to Eudaldus, a French nobleman.

Hunegund persuaded Eudaldus to take her to Rome before beginning their married life so that they might secure the special intercession of the apostles by visiting their tombs, and that their union might receive the blessing of the Bishop of Rome.  Eudaldus granted her wish, and instead of preparing a bridal feast, they made ready a travelling carriage and a suitable train of servants and horses.  They accomplished the journey very happily, visited the holy sites in Rome, and prayed with great devotion on the ground saturated with the blood of hundreds of martyrs.

On the last day, they were to be presented to the Bishop of Rome to receive his nuptial blessing.  However, no sooner were they in his presence than Hunegund, in obedience to a sudden inspiration of piety, threw herself at the Bishop’s feet, made a solemn vow of perpetual virginity, and asked him to give her the veil of a consecrated nun.  Eudaldus felt an impulse to run his sword through Hunegund, but resisting this temptation, he turned and left.  He nursed his indignation all the way home, and intended to punish Hunegund by taking possession of all her property that was to have come to him as dowry.

St. Tydfil, Martyr, of Wales

Commemorated on August 23

St. Tydfil was a Welsh martyr, reportedly from the clan of Brychan. 

In 480, she received a martyr’s crown when she was killed by a group of pagan Picts or Saxons. 

She is venerated at Merthyr-Tydfil, Glamorgan, Wales

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St. Ebba the Younger, Martyr, Along with Her Companions

Commemorated on August 23

St. Ebba the Younger was born in England, and became the abbess of Coldingham Monastery, now in Scotland, which had been founded two centuries earlier by St. Ebba the Elder.

When told that the Danes had invaded and were approaching the monastery, St. Ebba mutilated herself so that she would not be violated.  The Danes set fire to the monastery, and St. Ebba along with all the nuns of her community, perished.

They received martyrs’ crowns in 870.

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St. Ethelgitha of Northumbria

Commemorated on August 22

St. Ethelgitha was the abbess of a convent in Northumbria, England.

She entered into the Heavenly Kingdom in 720.

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St. Cyriarca (Dominica), Martyr, in Rome

Commemorated on August 21

St. Cyriaca was a wealthy Roman widow who sheltered persecuted Christians.  St. Laurence, the deacon and martyr, often came to her home in order to distribute alms to the needy.

St. Cyriaca’s charity cost her her life, and was she scourged to death in 249. 

The Church of St. Mary in Dominica is named in remembrance of her.

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St. Namadia of France

Commemorated on August 19

St. Namadia was the wife of St. Calminius of France.  After his death in the late seventh century, she entered a convent at Marsat.

She entered into the Heavenly Kingdom in 700.  She is buried alongside her husband at the abbey church in Mozac, France.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (

Sts. Centrolla and Helen, Virgin Martyrs, in Spain

Commemorated on August 13

St. Centrolla was a Christian maiden in Burgos, Spain in the fourth century.  She confessed her faith and was tortured. 

At the place of her sufferings, a group of women appeared and mocked Centrolla, urging her to renounce Christ.  However, a noble virgin, St. Helen, approached Centrolla, praised her for her dedication to the One True Faith, and urged Centrolla to endure the tortures.  Centrolla answered that she gladly suffered and added, “See that thou fail not; thou will suffer with me for Christ.”

Fearing that the heresy might spread, the authorities ordered that both Centrolla and Helen be beheaded. 

They entered into the Heavenly Kingdom in 304. 

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St. Radegund of France

Commemorated on August 13

St. Radegund was a sixth century Frankish princess, who founded the Convent of Our Lady of Poitiers.  She is the patron saint of several English churches and of Jesus College, Cambridge.

In 520, Radegund was born to King Berthar, one of the three kings of Thuringia (located in present day Germany).  Her uncle, Hermanfrid, killed Berthar in battle, leaving Radegund an orphan. 

In 531, Radegund was forced into marriage with Frankish King Clotaire, becoming one of his six wives.  She bore him no children, and, after Clotaire had her brother assassinated, she turned to God, founding a monastery in Poitiers.

Radegund was extensively written about by the poet, Venantius Fortunatus, and the bishop, hagiographer, and historian, Gregory of Tours. 

St. Radegund died on August 13, 586.  Her funeral, at which Venantius Fortunatus and Gregory of Tours attended, was three days later.

Five English parish churches are dedicated to her, and she had a chapel in the old St Paul's Cathedral, as well as in Gloucester, Lichfield, and Exeter Cathedrals. Saint Radegund's Abbey, near Dover, was founded in her honor.  She is also the patron saint of Jesus College, Cambridge, which was founded on the site of the monastery of Saint Mary and Saint Radegund.

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St. Hilaria, Martyr, along with her twenty-five companions, at Rome

Commemorated on August 12

St. Hilaria was the mother of St. Afra of Augsburg, Germany.

During the persecutions under Emperor Diocletian in 304, St. Hilaria and her three maids were seized while visiting the tomb of St Afra and burnt alive.

The others who were with them were also martyred in Rome and were buried on the Ostian Way

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St. Felicissima, Virgin Martyr, along with St. Gracilian

Commemorated on August 12

St. Gracilian was a Christian from Faleria in Tuscany, Italy.  Imprisoned for his faith in Christ, and known for healings, a widow brought her daughter – blind from birth – to visit him.  The young maiden, Felicissima, had her sight miraculously restored by the prayers of St. Gracilian, and was baptized at that same moment to Christianity.

In 304, for their faith in Christ, both St. Gracilian and Felicissima were beheaded.

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St. Digna of Italy

Commemorated on August 11

St. Digna was a holy virgin from Todi in Umbria in Italy. 

She lived as an anchoress in the mountains nearby during the persecutions under Emperor Diodetia in the fourth century.

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St. Asteria (or Hesteria) & St. Grata, Virgin Martyrs, of Bergamo, Italy

Commemorated on August 10

St. Asteria is the patron of Bergamo in Lombardy in Italy.  She was the sister of St. Grata of Bergamo where, during the time of the persecutions under Emperors Diocletian and Maximian, they both were responsible for burying the body of St. Alexander. 

St. Grata was put to death for her deed, with Asteria also being responsible for the burial of her remains.

In 307, shortly after her sister’s martyrdom, St. Asteria was arrested, tortured and beheaded.

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St. Agilberta of Jouarre, France

Commemorated on August 10

St. Agilberta was the second abbess of the monastery in Jouarre, France, which was founded in 660.

She was a relative of St. Ebrigisil and St. Ado, the founders of the Jouarre monastery, as well as St, Agilbert, Bishop of Paris.

She fell asleep in the Lord in 680.

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St. Potamia the Wonderworker, Virgin Martyr

Commemorated on August 7

The Holy Virgin Martyr Potamia the Wonderworker died under the sword in the third century.

Sometimes this saint is incorrectly listed as St. Potamius the Wonderworker.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (


Sts. Cuthburgh and Cwenburgh, Sisters, and Founders of Wimborne Monastery in Dorset, England

Commemorated on August 31

Sts. Cuthburgh and Cwenburgh were the sisters of King Ina of Wessex, an Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the West Saxons.  They became nuns at Barking, England, along with St. Hildelith.

Together, they founded a monastery in Wimborne in Dorset, England, where St. Cuthburgh was abbess.  Upon retirement, she was succeeded by her sister, St. Cwenburgh.

They both entered into the Heavenly Kingdom in 725.

By permission of

Raising Up a Generation of Disciples and Leaders: A Leadership Training Presentation

Fr. Joseph Purpura, Youth Director of the Antiochian Archdiocese, has provided the following PDF presentation for the edification of youth and youth workers of the Archdiocese. It covers:

  • The Why, What, and How of Orthodox Youth Ministry
  • Youth Ministry Programs (as found in the Antiochian Archdiocese as an example)
  • Dynamics of Group Ministry

June 2009 Newsletter: Pentecost - The Great Commission

Dear Friend of St. Athanasius Academy:

After the Lords Ascension, His eleven disciples returned to Jerusalem as instructed. On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit indwelt and sealed within these eleven disciples of Christ, His gift. But what was this gift. Perhaps Ezekiel 36:26-28 – Orthodox Study Bible – gives us a clue: "I shall give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I shall take the heart of stone from your flesh, and give you a heart of flesh. I shall put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes and you will keep my judgements and do them."

See the attached PDF file for this month's full teaching.

June 3, 2009 + Pentecost and The Unity of the Church

by V. Rev. Joseph Allen
From The Word Magazine, June 1973

For Christians Pentecost cannot be separated from Easter. Together they give the true significance to the Christian year and retain that Jewish flavor which we have mentioned. Our time in the Church is subjected to these two feasts and rightfully so because they commemorate the two events without which there would be no Church: the Resurrection and the descent of the Holy Spirit. The Church is the continual manifestation and fulfillment of that "experience of time" created by these two feasts. In fact, the Church begins counting its Sundays as being "after Pentecost"; 1st Sunday after Pentecost, 2nd Sunday after Pentecost, etc. up to and including the 32nd Sunday after Pentecost.

The Church’s occupation, therefore, was exactly this: to experience and bless time and joy in this life and also to experience and bless that time which is to come: that passage from this life into the new life. Because it is intended to experience the joy in this life, Pentecost with Easter is celebrated in the spring. It is spring that represents the coming back of life after the death of winter. Because it is to experience the "passage" from this life into the new life the Church remembers that Israel overcame the Pharaoh in its "passage" to the promised land. The Katavasia at Matins says: "Let us praise him who overwhelmed Pharaoh and his chariots in the sea. . ."

My Years in Teen SOYO

By V. Rev. Anthony Yazge

I count my life blessed in so many ways. One of those blessings has been my relationship with Teen SOYO. It began when I was twelve years old and the wife of our parish priest encouraged my parents to let me begin participating in Teen SOYO. The people I looked up to and admired were members of Teen SOYO. My cousins were involved. All of the older kids in my parish were active participants. I was ready to be part of the group of cool kids. And so it began and it has yet to end some 35 years later.

SOYO Reaches 40: 40 Years of Raising Generations of Disciples & Leaders

By V. Rev. Dr. Joseph F. Purpura

Forty years ago, the WORD Magazine recorded that during the Miami Convention of 1969 NAC (Teen) SOYO under the direction of his Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP elected its first President Mr. Robert Laham Jr. The teens were previously a committee of (Senior) SOYO (Senior SOYO is currently known as the Fellowship of St John the Divine). His Eminence with the help of Helen E. Rihbany, the National Teenage Chairwoman of Senior SOYO, set the following as priorities for this Teen Movement in the archdiocese, as found in Helen’s report to the General Assembly.

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