Virgin Martyr Febronia of Nisibis

Commemorated on June 25

The Virgin Martyr Febronia suffered during the reign of Diocletian (284-305). She was raised at a monastery in the city of Sivapolis (Assyria). The head of the women’s monastery was the abbess Bryaena, the aunt of Saint Febronia. Being concerned about her niece’s salvation, she assigned her a stricter form of life than the other nuns. According to their monastic rule, on Fridays the sisters put aside their other duties and spent the whole day in prayer and the reading of Holy Scripture. The abbess usually assigned the reading to Saint Febronia.

News of her pious life spread throughout the city. The illustrious young widow Hieria, a pagan, began to visit her, and under the influence of her guidance and prayer she accepted holy Baptism, bringing her parents and kinsfolk to the Christian Faith.

Diocletian sent a detachment of soldiers to Assyria under the command of Lysimachus, Selinus and Primus for the destruction of Christians. Selenos, the uncle of Lysimachus, was noted for his fierce attitude against Christians, but Lysimachus was of a different frame of mind from him, since his mother had sought to inspire love for the Christian faith in her son, and she had died a Christian. Lysimachus had discussed with his kinsman Primus how it would be possible to deliver Christians from the hands of the torturer. When the detachment of soldiers approached the convent, its inhabitants hid. There remained only the abbess Bryaena, her helper Thomais and Saint Febronia, who was seriously ill at the time.

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Troparion — Tone 3

Like a fragrant rose in the ascetic life, / you breathed forth the myrrh of Christ. / Therefore he has glorified you as a righteous martyr, O Febronia. / Now intercede with him for those who cry: / “Rejoice, O noble and blessed martyr!”

Troparion — Tone 4

Your lamb Febronia, calls out to You, O Jesus, in a loud voice: / “I love You, my Bridegroom, and in seeking You I endure suffering. / In baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in You, and I died so that I might live with You. / Accept me as a pure sacrifice, / for I have offered myself in love.” / Through her prayers save our souls, since You are merciful.

Kontakion — Tone 3

You were adorned with the grace of virginity and the beauty of martyrdom, / O Febronia, bride of Christ. / You wisely carried your lamp and ran to your Bridegroom / receiving an incorruptible crown. / Pray for those who faithfully sing hymns of praise to you!

Kontakion — Tone 6

“Most sweet Jesus, my Bridegroom, / it is not hard for me to follow You;” cried Febronia, / “the sweetness of Your love gives wings of hope to my soul, / the beauty of Your mercy has sweetened my heart; / may I drain the cup of sufferings in imitation of You, / so that You may count me worthy to be among the wise virgins: / those who dance with You in Your bridal chamber.” / Therefore, venerable passion-bearer, as we honor the struggles of your labors we entreat you: / “Pray that we not find the doors of the bridal chamber locked to us.”

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