18 September 2008

The Holy Martyr Ariadna

from the Synaxarion:

The Holy Martyr Ariadna was a servant of Tertillos, a city-father of Promyssia (Phrygia) during the reign of the emperor Adrian (117-161). One time, when on the occasion of the birth of a son the master made a sacrificial offering to the pagan gods, the Christian Ariadna refused to participate in the impious solemnity. For this they subjected her to beatings, and suspending her, they lacerated her body with sharp iron hooks. Then they threw the martyr into prison and for a long while they exhausted her with hunger, demanding worship to the gods. When they released the saint from prison, she left the city, but Tertillos sent pursuers after her. Seeing that they were chasing her, she ran, calling out to God that He defend her from her enemies. Suddenly through her prayers there opened in the mountain a fissure, and Saint Ariadna hid in it. This miracles brought the pursuers into confusion and fear, and they in their depravity of mind began to strike one another with spears.

The above Synaxarion reading for today almost seems to illustrate on of my favorite Psalms (34 in the LXX):

Judge them, O Lord, that do me injustice; war against them that war against me. Take hold of weapon and shield, and arise unto my help. Draw out a sword, and shut the way against them that persecute me; say to my soul: I am thy salvation. Let them that seek my soul be shamed and confounded. Let them be turned back, and be utterly put to shame, they that devise evils against me. Let them become as dust before the face of the wind, an angel of the Lord also afflicting them. Let their way become darkness and a sliding, an angel of the Lord also pursuing them. For without cause have they secretly prepared for my destruction in their snare, without reason have they cast reproach on my soul. Let a snare come upon him, which he knoweth not; and let the trap, which he hath hidden, catch him, and into that same snare let him fall. But my soul shall rejoice in the Lord, it shall delight in His salvation. All my bones shall say: Lord, O Lord, who is like unto Thee? Delivering the beggar from the hand of them that are stronger than he, yea, poor man and pauper from them that despoil him. Unjust witnesses rose up against me; things I knew not they asked me. They repaid me with evil things for good, and barrenness for my soul. But as for me, when they troubled me, I put on sackcloth. And I humbled my soul with fasting, and my prayer shall return to my bosom. As though it had been a neighbour, as though it had been our brother, so sought I to please; as one mourning and sad of countenance, so humbled I myself. Yet against me they rejoiced and gathered together; scourges were gathered together upon me, and I knew it not. They were rent asunder, yet not pricked at heart; they tempted me, they mocked me with mockery, they gnashed upon me with their teeth. O Lord, when wilt Thou look upon me? Deliver my soul from their evil doing, even this only-begotten one of mine from the lions. I will confess Thee in the great congregation; among a mighty people will I praise Thee. Let not them rejoice against me that unjustly are mine enemies, they that hate me without a cause, and wink with their eyes. For peaceably indeed they spake unto me, but in their wrath were they devising deceits. And they opened wide their mouth against me; they said: Well done, well done, our eyes have seen it. Thou hast seen it, O Lord; keep not silence. O Lord, depart not from me. Arise, O Lord, and be attentive unto my judgement, my God, and my Lord, unto my cause. Judge me, O Lord, according to Thy righteousness; O Lord my God, let them not rejoice against me. Let them not say in their hearts: Well done, well done, our soul. Let them not say: We have swallowed him up. Let them be shamed and confounded together who rejoice at my woes. Let them be clothed with shame and confusion who speak boastful words against me. Let them rejoice and be glad who desire the righteousness of my cause, and let them that desire the peace of Thy servant say continually: The Lord be magnified. And my tongue shall treat of Thy righteousness, and of Thy praise all the day long.
Lord, have mercy on me and defend me from the enemies of my soul!

Pax vobiscum+

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