Great celebration of Orthodoxy today, Thursday July 7, as it is her Saint Kyriaki of the Great Martyrs. It is also of Saint Odysseus the Neomartyr. Those named Kyriaki, Kyriakitsa, Kiki, Kika, Kikitsa, Kitsa, Korina, Domenica, Sandy, Odysseus are celebrating.
Saint Kyriaki the Great Martyr was an Asia Minor saint who lived in the 3rd century AD. in Nicomedia in Asia Minor.
He was born in Nicomedia in Asia Minor, the only child of Dorotheus and Eusevia. Her parents were Greeks, devout Christians, rich, but childless. According to the narration of her life by the Church, praying without interruption, they had a child from God. Since she was born on Sunday (the Lord’s day), she was given the name Sunday.
From her childhood, Sunday was dedicated to God. She was beautiful in body and soul. Many suitors asked her in marriage, but she rejected all proposals, saying that she was betrothed to Christ the Lord and that she desired nothing more than to die a virgin. A judge in Nicomedia wanted to betroth Sunday to his son, given that she came from a wealthy family. As his own proposal was also rejected, he denounced Sunday and her parents as Christians to the emperor Diocletian.
The emperor ordered her parents to be tortured. Dorotheus was severely beaten, until the soldiers stopped beating him from exhaustion. Because neither flattery nor torture had any effect, Dorotheus and Eusevia were exiled to Melitini, between Cappadocia and Armenia, where they died enduring many sufferings for Christ. The emperor then sent Sunday to be interrogated by Maximian.
Sunday refused to renounce her faith. As a result Maximian ordered her to be flogged. The emperor’s men tortured her in every possible way, but her faith was unwavering. One night, as she lay on the floor of her cell, she heard the voice of God say to her: “Do not be afraid of torture Sunday, my spirit is with you.” After many and terrible trials, Maximian failed to persuade the young woman to change her faith. He then sent it to the prefect of Bithynia, Hilariano, who asked him to make Kyriaki a pagan or to send it to him again.
Hilarion did his best to achieve this. One of the tortures she experienced was hanging her by her hair for several hours while soldiers burned her body with burning torches. Finally, she was thrown into a prison cell. According to the Church’s account of her life, that night Christ appeared and healed her wounds. Seeing the miraculous salvation of Sunday many pagans believed in Christ; as a consequence they were beheaded.
After an exhaustive interrogation, they led Sunday to the temple to sacrifice to the idols. She, entering, begged Christ to help her. A strong earthquake terrified the executioners and the statues of the temple fell from their pedestals and crumbled. Kyriacus was tortured again by Apollonius, who succeeded Hilarian. But when they threw it into the fire, the flames did not burn it. When they threw her to the wild beasts they preyed. In the end, Apollonius condemned her to beheading. She was given a few minutes to pray, and she asked God to receive her soul, and she remembered those because of whom she had the honor to testify for Christ; then she bowed to the ground. When the executioner approached to carry out the order, he saw that Sunday was already dead; she was only 21 years old. Her memory is celebrated on July 7.
Agia Kyriaki is celebrated in the Bosporos district of Menemeni, Thessaloniki, in Servia as a patron and in many parts of Greece, where there are small churches that celebrate her memory. Such as on the eastern side of Lefkada, at the entrance of the bay of Vlychos, where the homonymous church is located. Just opposite the village of Nydri on the edge of the Geni peninsula. A pilgrimage is made there by residents of the island but also of the surrounding prefectures since it is considered one of the biggest celebrations in western Greece. Also in the settlement of Vraila Dorida and the Tower of Ilias where there is a brilliant and beautiful Church at the initiative of the Gortynians, the origin of its inhabitants.
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