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St. Sebastiana the Martyr and Disciple of St. Paul the Apostle at Heraclea


Commemorated on September 16

The Holy Martyr Sebastiana was a follower of the Apostle Paul. During a persecution against Christians under the Emperor Dometian (81-96), she was placed on trial before Governor Georgios in the city of Marcianopolis.

St. Sebastiana firmly confessed her faith in Christ, and for this she was subjected to cruel tortures. At first, she was beaten, then thrown into a red-hot oven from which she emerged unharmed. She was sent to the city of Heraklea, where sentence was pronounced on her a second time.

Governor Pompian gave orders to tie the saint to a tree and lacerate her body with roof-tiles, but she remained unbroken in her faith. The governor then gave her over to be eaten by wild beasts. There too the Lord preserved the holy martyr, and the beasts refused to touch her. Finally, by order of the governor, St. Sebastiana was beheaded. Her body was thrown into the sea, but was taken by angels to the island of Rhodes (in Thrace, in the Sea of Marmara).

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (