In the year 642, in Philippopolis in Thrace, the prefect commanded that the entire city participate in a great sacrifice for the feast of Apollo. Theodota, a former harlot, refused to perform the sacrilegious sacrifice, claiming that, though once she had been a sinner, she wouldn’t add sin to sin. She encouraged 750 men to step forward, declare themselves Christians, and also refuse to participate. She was cast into prison for 20 days, where she continually prayed. She asked Christ to pardon the crimes of her past life, and give her strength and constancy to bear the torments she faced. She was then whipped, put on the rack, and torn with an iron comb. When she continued to praise and adore Christ, the prefect ordered salt and vinegar to be poured into her wounds. She only said, “I adore you, O Christ, and thank you, because you have made me worthy to suffer this for your name.” Finally, when he ran out of tortures, the prefect ordered Theodota to be stoned to death. Her feast day is September 29.
Questions for Reflection:
- When have you suffered for your beliefs?
- How can you help people who are suffering every day?