Martyr Aquilina of Byblos

Martyr Aquilina is commemorated on June 13th.

When she was only twelve years old, Aquilina persuaded a pagan friend to convert to Christ. Under emperor Diocletian, one of the servants of imperial governor Volusian accused her of teaching others not to follow the religion of their fathers. Aquilina firmly confessed her faith in Christ before the governor and said she would not renounce Him. Volusian tried to influence her, but seeing her confidence, he ordered her to be tortured.

They struck her face, then stripped her and beat her with whips. The torturer asked, “Where then is your God? Let Him come and take you out of my hands”. Holy Martyr Aquilina replies, “The Lord is here with me invisibly, and the more strength and endurance will He give me.”

They drilled heated metal rods into the martyr’s ears. The holy virgin fell down as if dead; the torturer thought she had actually died, and he gave orders to throw her body outside the city to be fed to dogs.

By night, a holy angel appeared to Holy Martyr Aquilina and said, “Arise and be healed. Go and denounce Volusian, so that he and his plans may come to nothing.” The Martyr went to the court of the governor and stood before Volusian. He called his servings and ordered them to keep watch over her until morning.

In the morning, he sentenced Aquilina to death for being a sorceress and disobeying the imperial law. When they led her to execution, she prayed and thanked God for allowing her to suffer for His Holy Name.

A voice was heard in answer to her, summoning her to the heavenly Kingdom. Before the executioner could carry out the sentence, the martyr gave her spirit to God. The executioner feared to disobey the governor’s orders, so he cut off her head although she had already died.

Christians piously buried the martyr’s body. Later, her relics were taken to Constantinople and placed in a church named after her.

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