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St. Xanthippe and St. Polyxene, Disciples of the Apostles


Commemorated on September 23

The Monastic Women Xanthippe and Polyxene were sisters by birth who lived in Spain in the time of the holy Apostles. They were among the first to hear the divine teaching of Christ the Savior from the Apostle Paul when he preached near their home.

St. Xanthippe and her husband, Probus, accepted Christianity, but St. Polyxene was still a pagan when a certain man became entranced with her extraordinary beauty and forcibly carried her off to Greece on a ship. However, the Lord preserved her unharmed. On the voyage, she heard the preaching of the Apostle Peter and came to believe in Christ. When she arrived in Greece, St. Polyxene turned to the Christians for protection, and they hid her in the city of Patra where she formally accepted Christianity and was baptized by the Apostle Andrew.

She became a witness to St. Andrew’s miracles and saw how he patiently and humbly endured his sufferings and death, standing at the foot of the cross when they crucified him. After his death, St. Polyxene returned to Spain, where she and her older sister, Xanthippe, converted many pagans to Christ. St. Polyxene toiled for about forty years preaching the Gospel in Spain. St. Xanthippe shared in her sister’s work and preached in the populous city of Toledo.

St. Polyxene reposed in about the year 109, having preserved her virginity to the end of her earthly life.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (