Martyr Charitina

When we read about life in the early Church, we are struck by the fact that so many men, women, and even children were willing to endure hardships, tortures and death for the sake of their Christian faith. Martyr Charitina was one such person.

Charitina lived in the 3rd century during the reign of the Emperor Diocletian; a reign that saw the bloodiest period of Christian persecution. Orphaned at an early age, Charitina was adopted by a Roman merchant Claudius, who although a pagan, allowed his new daughter to practice her Christian beliefs. When the governor of the region heard of this, however, she was taken from her adopted family and brought to trial.

Refusing to show fear before the wicked magistrate, Charitina firmly answered the charges brought against her. When she was accused of “deluding others” by bringing them to a dishonorable faith, Charitina calmly replied: “I lead thoes in error to the way of truth, bringing them to my Lord.” Seeing that he could not entrap her with his words, the magistrate then attempted to end her life with his terrible deeds. She was forced to endure a series of brutal tortures, but Charitina was shielded from death by the power of God. When the judge ordered that she be raped by several men, Charitina prayed to be spared from this inhuman act. Her plea was answered; Charitina fell asleep in the Lord while on her knees in prayer only minutes before the sentence could be handed out.

— The Orthodox Weekly Bulletin, Vestal, Cliffwood, New Jersey

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