St. Febronia of Nisibis – S368


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Church Feast Day 1



Egg Tempera


20th c. (Late)


Monk Michael of Athos


St. Febronia was the daughter of a late 3rd century Roman Senator, but left the world at a young age to avoid marriage and devote her life to Christ as a virgin.  She entered a convent of 50 ascetic virgins near Nisibis in Assyria, where her aunt was the abbess.  Febronia quickly was known for her meekness, wisdom, restraint, and fasting.  She was beautiful both outwardly, and more importantly inwardly, as she daily put on Christ.

Soon a persecution of Christians arose, and the Roman governor Silenus called Febronia before him.  Infuriated by her refusal to deny Christ after flattery, and then threatening of bodily harm, Silenus had her brutally tortured by first whipping her body, and then cutting off her hands, feet, and breasts.  Febronia reposed in the Lord at 20 in a.d. 310, a pure lamb led to the slaughter, as He had done for her.  Silenus went mad that same day and killed himself, banging his head against a marble pillar.  His nephew, Lysimachus, then left in charge, then took Febronia’s relics back to her convent for burial with honor, and was baptized with many of his soldiers.  Febronia would often appear to her sisters in prayer.