The Holy Martyr Heliconis
She was born in Salonica and educated in Christian piety. She went to Corinth in the time of Gordian and Philip, where she outspokenly denounced all who sacrificed to idols. When the governor, Perinus, urged her to offer sacrifice to Aesculapius, Christ's martyr said to him: `Hear me, and know that I am a servant of Christ; as for Aesculapius, I do not know who he is. Do what you will.' She was brought to trial for these words and terribly tortured. She was thrown into the flames, but a great gush of blood poured from her body and extinguished it, and she remained alive. She was thrown to the lions, but they would not touch her and instead fawned round her. Thrust into a temple for at least the semblance of offering sacrifice to idols, she smashed the idols, thereby arousing still greater hatred in her tormentors. Lying in prison covered all over with wounds, she saw the Lord Himself with the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. He healed her wounds, comforting and encouraging her. Later, she was led out to the scaffold to be beheaded with the sword. Before her beheading, Heliconis raised her arms high and prayed that God accept her and bring her into the company of His flock in the heavenly fold. When she had finished her prayer, a voice was heard from heaven: `Come, make haste; a crown and a throne are prepared for thee.' She was finally beheaded and received a wreath of glory from the Lord, for whose love she was sacrificed like an innocent and pure lamb.
* From "The Prologue from Ochrid", by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic - Lazarica Press - Birmingham 1985
Four Book Edition - Translated by Mother Maria - Dates based on old church calendar.
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