• “They only did what God permitted them to do, which enabled me always to keep God in sight… When we suffer, we should always remember that God inflicts the blow. Wicked men, it is true, are not infrequently His instruments; and the fact does not diminish, but simply develops their wickedness. But when we are so mentally disposed that we love the strokes we suffer, regarding them as coming from God, and as expressions of what He sees best for us, we are then in the proper state to look forgivingly and kindly upon the subordinate instrument which He permits to smite us.” – Madame Guyon

Seven Martyrs of Ancyra

Ancyra, Seven Martyrs of, female victims of Diocletian’s persecution, 304. They were unmarried, about 70 years old, and notable for piety and good works. When the persecution was determined upon, Theotecnus, a magician, a philosopher and pervert from Christianity, was dispatched as governor to Galatia to root out Christianity. Among the earliest victims were the seven virgins, Tecusa, Alexandra, Faina, Claudia, Euphrasia, Matrona, Julitta. Theotecnus called upon them to offer incense, and upon their refusal condemned them to the public brothel, from which they escaped scatheless on account of their age, and by the ingenuity of Tecusa their leader. He then ordered them to officiate as priestesses of Diana and Minerva in washing their statues according to the annual custom of Ancyra. They were accordingly carried naked through the streets to a neighbouring lake, where garlands and white garments were offered them in which to fulfil his commands. Upon their refusal Theotecnus ordered them to be drowned in the lake, with heavy stones tied round their necks lest their bodies should be recovered and buried by their fellow Christians. Many legends have gathered round the story. The acts of the seven virgins and of St. Theodotus (a tavern-keeper of Ancyra martyred for rescuing and burying the bodies) are recorded in Gk. in a Vatican MS., purporting to have been written by an eye-witness named Nilus. They are found in Gk. and Lat. in Boll. Acta SS. May 18; cf. also Ruinart, Acta Sincera, p. 336; Ceillier, iii. 15

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