On August 1st (25th of Abib) we remember the
departure of St. Thecla. She was from the city of Nicomedia; when St. Paul arrived in that city from Antioch, he stayed in Sefaros’ house. When she heard St Paul’s teaching, she looked out from the window to hear more of it because she loved it. Her parents got mad at her and complained to the governor about St. Paul. The governor threw St Paul in prison. Thecla was determined however; she took over her very expensive clothes and put on simple ones and went to St. Paul in prison to hear more of his teaching. When her parents found her there, they made the governor order to burn her. Her mother said “Burn her to be an example for the other women of noble families who believe in the teaching of the Apostles”. But the fire didn’t harm her!
Afterwards, she went to St. Paul in Antioch and a nobleman, who saw that she was very pretty wanted to marry her. She refused and told him that she is the bride of Christ. The nobleman got very mad and informed the governor of her faith. She was then thrown to the lions. But for two days, the lions didn’t harm her! St. Paul came to her, comforted her and strengthened her, commended her to preach Christ in Iconuim. She went there and preached then went back to her own city and converted her father to Christianity. Then when she finished her race, she departed to be with Jesus forever.
St. Thecla is the first woman martyr in our church, even though she was not martyred but because she endured many pains. We should learn from her and make sure to finish our race!
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it”
(1 Corinthians 9:24)