Saturday, September 23, 2017
St. Thelca

While today is the Feast of Pope St. Linus, the first Successor to St. Peter, today is also the Commemoration of St. Thelca.

St. Thelca was a a native of Iconomium who was so impressed by the preaching of St. Paul on virginity that she broke off her engagement to marry Thamyris to live a life of virginity. St. Paul was ordered to be scourged and banished from the city for his teaching, and St. Thecla was ordered burned to death. When a storm providentially extinguished the flames, she escaped with St. Paul and went with him to Antioch. Here she was condemned to wild beasts in the arena when she violently resisted the attempt of Syriarch Alexander to kidnap her, but again escaped when the beasts did no harm to her.

She rejoined St. Paul at Myra in Lycia, dressed as a boy, and was commissioned by him to preach the Gospel. She did for a time in Iconium and then became a recluse in a cave at Meriamlik near Seleucia. She lived as a hermitess there for the next seventy-two years and died there (or in Rome, where she was miraculously transported when she found that St. Paul had died and was later buried near his tomb).

This legend had tremendous popularity in the early Church but is undoubtedly a pious fiction and was labeled apocryphal by St. Jerome. However, St. Thelca did exist adn we invoke her patronage today even if there is doubt on some of the aspects of this pious legend that was recounted in the Acts of Paul and Thecla.


Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who honor the heavenly birthday of blessed Thecla, Thy Virgin and Martyr, may both rejoice in her yearly festival and profit by the example of so great a faith. Through our Lord.


2 comment(s):

del_button September 23, 2017 at 1:09 PM
Unknown said...

please what are the blessing which an Altar Server receives during mass.

del_button September 24, 2017 at 10:35 AM
Matthew said...

Please see here:

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