Febronia of Syria

Saint Veronica of Syria
Virgin-Martyr
Born 8th century
Levant
Died 9 October 749
Akhmim, Egypt
Venerated in Oriental Orthodox
Feast
  • 29 Thout (Coptic Orthodox Church)

Saint Febronia of Syria also known as Saint Veronica of Syria, (Coptic: Ϯⲁⲅⲓⲁ ⲫⲓⲃⲣⲟⲛⲓⲁ; Arabic: فبرونيا السورية) is venerated as a Virgin-Martyr and saint by the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Life and martyrdom

She was born in the Levant in the eighth century AD to a rich family living in Syria and when she grew up, she committed her life to chastity in honor of Jesus Christ. She went to the monastery of the Virgins in Akhmim and became a nun. At the age of 26, she became the head of the monastery in the era Pope Michael I.[1][2]

During a period of turmoil that was experienced in the era of Marwan II Caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate, some of his soldiers attacked the monastery of the Archangel Michael for the purpose of plundering and raping nuns. When they saw Veronica and her beauty, they decided not to kill her, but instead gift her to the Caliph as a slave.

When Veronica learned of their plans, she deceived them by telling them she possessed magical oil that can protect them in battle. To convince the soldiers of its effectiveness, she applied the oil to her neck and told them to strike her. She knelt down and prayed to Christ to be a virgin martyr in his name. One of the soldiers then struck her with his sword, resulting in her decapitation. Shocked by the outcome, the soldiers then fled the monastery without plundering anything inside or harming the nuns. Veronica's sacrifice is believed to have saved the other nuns in the monastery.[1][3]

Notes

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