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St. Cercyra, along with Seven Others, at Corfu

clip_image002Commemorated on April 28

St. Cercyra was the daughter of the king of the island of Corfu. She became a follower of Jason and Sosipater (Rom. 16:21), whom the Apostle Paul called his kinsmen. These two apostles came to the island of Corfu, where they succeeded in building a church dedicated to St. Stephen the Protomartyr and in bringing many unbelievers to Christ.

The king of Corfu threw them into prison, along with seven robbers. The apostles converted the seven robbers to the Christian faith. The king commanded that these seven be put to death in boiling pitch, and they thus received the wreath of martyrdom.

After this, while the king was questioning the apostles, his daughter, Cercyra, looked through a window and witnessed the torture of these men of God. Discovering the reason for it, she proclaimed herself a Christian and gave all her jewels away to the poor.

The king was filled with wrath against his daughter and shut her up in a separate prison. Failing to turn her from Christ, he ordered that the prison in which she was housed be burned to the ground. The prison was consumed by fire, but Cercyra remained alive. Seeing this, many people were baptized into Christ.

The furious king then ordered that his daughter be bound to a tree and killed with arrows. After her death, those who had come to believe in Christ fled to a nearby island. The king set off in a boat to arrest them, but the boat overturned in the sea and he perished.

The new king accepted the Christian faith and was baptized, receiving the name Sebastian. Jason and Sosipater freely preached the Gospel and strengthened the Church of God in Corfu into old age. There they finished their earthly course and went to the courts of the Lord.

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