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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume IV: April. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

April 2

St. Theodosia, Virgin and Martyr

SHE was a native of Tyre. Having been educated in the Christian faith, she had, by vow, consecrated her virginity to God. She was not eighteen years of age when, in 308, being at Cæsarea, and beholding there the cruelties exercised by the barbarous governor upon the servants of God, her zeal prompted her to address the confessors who stood bound in the square before the governor’s court to be interrogated. She congratulated them on their happiness, and besought them to remember her in their prayers when they should be with God, and earnestly exhorted them to patience and perseverance. The guards apprehended her as if guilty of a crime on account of this action, and presented her to the governor, who for three years and a half had sought in vain, by every invention of cruelty, to extirpate the Christian name out of his province; but finding the blood of martyrs to be a seed which served to further the propagation of Christianity, he was no longer master of his fury. Seeing the undaunted air with which this tender virgin appeared before him, he took it for an insult of his power, and caused her to be stretched on the rack in the most cruel manner; and her sides and breasts to be torn with iron hooks and pincers, and at length her breasts to be cut off with the utmost barbarity. Nothing could draw from her the least complaint or sigh: but she suffered these tortures with an amiable cheerfulness painted on her face, and sweetly said to the judge: “By your cruelty you procure me that great happiness which it was my grief to see deferred. I rejoice to see myself called to this crown, and return hearty thanks to God for vouchsafing me such a favour.” She was yet alive when the governor, finding it impossible to add to his cruelty, ordered her to be thrown into the sea. The other confessors he condemned to the mines in Palestine; but was himself shortly after beheaded by his master for his crimes. St. Theodosia received her crown on the 2nd of April, on which day her name occurs in the Roman, Greek, Russian, and other calendars. Her memory is honoured with particular devotion at Venice, and in many other places. Concerning her martyrdom, see Eusebius, an eye-witness, in his History of the martyrs of Palestine, c. 7. and her Acts published from the Chaldaic by Assemani, t. 2, p. 204. 1  1
Note 1. St. Theodosia suffered under eighteen years of age; St. Apian not yet twenty. [back]