Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Today is the Feastday of The Lesbian Martyrs

Five virgin Christian maidens who suffered martyrdom for the faith on the Greek island of Lesbos.

They were early martyrs and therefore very little information seems to be available on them.  I could not even find an icon.

I thought it would be fun to post on them, considering Pope Francis is invited to visit the island:
The Orthodox Church of Greece on Tuesday said it would welcome a visit of Pope Francis to the island of Lesbos to meet with migrants and refugees arriving across the Mediterranean sea. - Vatican Radio
It appears the visit is scheduled for April 15:
The papal visit is one of the “monthly trips” to places of suffering, which Pope Francis decided to embark on once a month for the duration of the Holy Year of Mercy. Naturally, this visit is taking place in the context of the migrant tragedy in the Mediterranean, which sees scores of people trying to cross the Mare Nostrum to get to Europe. - Vatican Insider
Like the multicultural washing of feet, the going out to the peripheries such as the Isle of Lesbos, the Holy Father leaves himself wide open to misinterpretation.   Too bad for those who are not open, who do not accept such acts of mercy.

Anyway - what concern is that to you and to me?

There are 'New' Martyrs of Lesbos.

They are St.s Raphael, Nicholas and Irene, their cult seems to have re-surfaced miraculously.

For almost five centuries the inhabitants of Lesvos would visit the ruins of a monastery near the village of Thermi, northwest of the capital Mytilene, on Bright Tuesday. These people had forgotten the specific reason for the annual pilgrimage but remembered that Turkish soldiers had murdered monks in the old monastery there many years ago.
The devout Angelos Rallis chose to construct a chapel by the monastery ruins in 1959. That July 3, workers found the holy relics of St. Raphael of Lesvos as they cleared rubble, and shortly thereafter St. Raphael, along with Sts. Nicholas and Irene, started appearing to many Lesvos residents and told them the stories of their lives. After St. Irene revealed to the residents of Lesvos the place of her grave, her holy relics were discovered on March 12, 1961 in the clay cask in which she was martyred.
When Turkish soldiers invaded Lesvos, the 12-year-old St. Irene and her parents Maria and Basil, the village mayor, rushed over to the Monastery of the Nativity of the Theotókos near Thermi to warn the monks. The soldiers murdered the holy abbot St. Raphael of Lesvos while the holy deacon St. Nicholas of Lesvos watched, and then proceeded to murder St. Nicholas.
The Hagarenes severed one of Irene's arms and threw it down before her parents. While her parents watched, the soldiers put her in a big clay cask and started a fire beneath it, causing Irene to suffocate inside. Then the soldiers murdered her parents; they also beheaded the village teacher named Theodore and killed St. Irene's 15-year-old cousin, Eleni. Thus Irene and her family and neighbors received the crown of martyrdom. - Read more here.
May the new Martyrs intercede for those facing martyrdom today.

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