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Martyr Melitine of Marcianopolis (16 September)

The Holy Martyr Melitinḗ (Μελιτινή, or Μελιτίνη) lived in the city of Markianopolis in Thrace during the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161). Antiochus was the ruler of Thrace at that time. Since he was a fierce persecutor of Christians, he ordered that Melitinḗ be arrested, because she was a devout Christian whose fiery preaching converted many pagans to Christ. The Lord blessed her with the gift of wonderworking and, by the power of her prayers, she shattered the idols of Apollo and Herakles. Antiochus tried to make her worship the pagan “gods,” but his efforts were in vain.

Since the Saint could not be persuaded to deny Christ, she was handed over to the ruler’s wife and some crafty women who tried to win her over her with flattery and kindness. Not only was Saint Melitinḗ not deceived or persuaded by their efforts, she converted the ruler’s wife to Christianity. She who tried to conquer Melitinḗ was defeated. She wanted to make Melitinḗ an idolater, but she herself became a Christian. The two women, concealing this from Antiochus, worked together and brought many pagans to Christ.

The madman Antiochus was furious when he learned the truth, and had both women beheaded. Saint Melitinḗ walked bravely to her death, and to everlasting glory as well.

A certain Christian from Macedonia, whose name was Akakios, was passing through Markianopolis on his way back to his own country. Since Saint Melitinḗ’s holy relics remained unburied, Akakios asked the ruler for them, intending to bury them in Macedonia. Antiochus did not suspect his godly intention, so he gave him the Saint’s body. Akakios took the holy relics and placed them in a chest, and then he left for his own country in haste. While at sea, he became sick and died. The ship put in at a promontory on the island of Limnos in order to bury the Saint’s relics. Akakios, who loved the martyrs, was also buried near the tomb of Saint Melitinḗ.