Virginmartyr Tecusa of Ancyra, who suffered under Decius

Saint Tecusa was the aunt of St Theodotus of Ancyra. She was the eldest of seven holy virgins who had dedicated themselves to Christ at an early age, living in constant prayer, fasting, temperance and good deeds. They were drowned in a lake at an advanced age.

The following night St Tecusa appeared to St Theodotus in a dream, asking him to take her body and give it Christian burial. St Theodotus went to the lake, taking his friend Polychronius and several other Christians with him. It was dark, and a torch illumined their way. The holy martyr Sosander appeared in front of the guard who was posted by the pagans at the shore of the lake. The frightened guard ran off in terror.

The Christians found the bodies of the holy martyrs and carried them to church, where they were buried. St Theodotus was martyred for Christ on June 7, 303 or 304, but he is also commemorated on May 18, when the holy virgins were executed.

The account of the life and martyrdom of St Theodotus and the suffering of the holy virgins was compiled by Nilus, a contemporary and companion of St Theodotus. Nilus lived in the city of Ancyra during the persecution of Christians under the emperor Diocletian, and witnessed the saint’s death.

drowned in a lake.