St. Thekla, the Martyr

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She was a virgin and a disciple of St. Paul from Iconium. She was rich, beautiful and engaged to one of the well-to-do men in Iconium (Acts 13:51). When St. Paul arrived at Iconium in his first ministry’s trip she believed in his ministry and so vowed to be a virgin for the Lord. When her mother discovered her faith she went and betrayed her to the governor of Iconium who persecuted her with different sufferings and pains. He threw her in fire but the Lord sent heavy rain which extinguished the flames and so she was saved. She followed St. Paul to Antioch and ministered to pagan women there. In Antioch, the governor also persecuted her and threw her to the wild animals naked three times for three days but the Lord saved her. After that he threw her in a pit filled with snakes but the Lord saved her. She went after that to her home land in Iconium and ministered there, then went to Syria where she lived the hermitic life and the Lord granted her the gift of healing sickness. She departed at the age of 90 years and was buried in Solicaia of Syria. Because of her great sufferings and pains, the church called her martyr.