Saint Charitina (Charitίnē) was from Amisos (Amisós) in Pontus and lived during the reign of Emperor Diocletian (284-305). Orphaned at a young age, she became the servant of a noble Roman Christian named Claudianus, or Claudius, who brought her up as his own daughter. The young girl was very pretty, sensible, and kind. She imparted her love for Christ to others, and brought many to the path of salvation. Saint Charitina was meek, humble, obedient and silent. Although she was not yet baptized, she was a Christian at heart. She studied the Law of God day and night, and vowed to preserve her virginity as a true bride of Christ.
Because Saint Charitina brought many others to the Christian Faith, Dometius, one of Emperor Diocletian’s governors, came to hear of her and sent a letter to Claudius, ordering him to send Charitina to him so that he might question her. Claudius had no doubts about the result of this interrogation. Grieved at the prospect of losing her, he put on sackcloth and wept bitter tears. Charitina comforted him, saying: “Do not grieve, my Master, but rejoice, for I am to become an acceptable sacrifice to God, for my sins and for yours.”
Claudius replied: “O Servant of God, remember me when you stand before the heavenly King in the ranks of the Holy Martyrs.”
The Saint was brought before a judge at the tribunal. He asked her: “Is it true that you are a Christian, and that you delude others by bringing them to your impious faith?”
Charitina replied: “It is true that I am a Christian, but it is a lie that I delude others. On the contrary, I lead them from deception to the path of truth, bringing them to my Christ.”
Then the judge ordered her hair to be cut off, but by the power of God, her hair grew back even longer than before. Then burning coals were placed on her head, and vinegar was poured over her scorched flesh, increasing her pain. They drove flaming sticks through her breasts, and burnt her sides with candles. Finally, they tied a stone around her neck and threw her into the sea. She cried out: “This is my Baptism.” Suddenly, the stone was loosened and sank, and God delivered her from the sea unharmed.
When the judge saw her on the shore, he ordered his men to seize her and strip her naked, and then tie her to a wheel which turned over burning coals, but an Angel of God stopped the wheel and once again Saint Charitina remained unharmed. The judge became furious and ordered that the nails of her hands and her feet be torn out, and that all her teeth be broken.
Then the wicked judge sent many dissolute men to rape her. Fearing this dishonor, Saint Charitina prayed that God would receive her soul before these vile men could defile her virginal body; and so, as she prayed, she surrendered her pure soul to God.
When the judge saw that she was dead, he had her body placed in a sack weighted with stones, and tossed it into the sea. By Divine Providence, her body was brought to the shore three days later. Her master Claudius found her body and buried her with appropriate honor and reverence.
Fragments of Saint Charitina’s Holy Relics are found in the Monasteries of Kykkos, Cyprus, and Jerusalem of Boeotia.
Saint Charitina contested for Christ during the reign of Diocletian, in the year 290. The handmaid of a certain Claudius, she was betrayed as a Christian to Dometian, the Count, before whom she fearlessly confessed Christ. After suffering the most terrible tortures, including the uprooting of her teeth and nails, she gave up her soul into the hands of the Lord.
Having been orphaned in infancy, Charitina was adopted by an eminent Christian man named Claudius, who raised her as his own daughter. Charitina was meek, humble, obedient and quiet. She studied the Law of God day and night, and vowed to live her life in chastity, as a true bride of Christ. Since Charitina also brought others to the Christian Faith, Dometius, Emperor Diocletian’s eparch, heard of her, sent soldiers to take her from her foster father, and brought her to trial.
The judge questioned her: “Is it true, young maiden, that you are a Christian, and that you deceive others, leading them to this profane Faith?” Charitina courageously replied: “It is true that I am a Christian, but it is a lie that I deceive others; rather, I lead those in error to the true path, by leading them to my Christ.” The evil judge condemned her. Her hair was shorn and hot coals were poured onto her head. Even so, she was saved by the power of God. They threw her into the sea, but God delivered her again.
They tied her to a wheel and began to turn it, but an angel of God stopped the wheel, and Charitina remained unharmed. Then the depraved judge sent some dissolute young men to defile her. Fearing this dishonor, St. Charitina prayed to God to receive her soul before those degenerates could defile her virginal body. While she knelt, praying to God, her soul departed from her and was translated to the Immortal Kingdom of Christ.
Apolytikion of Martyr Charitina
O Lord Jesus, unto Thee Thy lamb doth cry with a great voice: O my Bridegroom, Thee I love; and seeking Thee, I now contest, and with Thy baptism am crucified and buried. I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; for Thy sake I die, that I may live in Thee: accept me offered out of longing to Thee as a spotless sacrifice. Lord, save our souls through her intercessions, since Thou art great in mercy.
Kontakion of Martyr Charitina
Reddened with martyric blood, thou wast arrayed in Heaven’s beauty splendidly, when thou hadst overcome the foe, O Charitina, and thou didst cry: Thou art the joy of the Martyrs, O Christ our God.
Source: oca.org / goarch.org / westserbdio.org