Martyr Golinduc, in Holy Baptism Mary, of Persia

The Holy martyr Golinduc, in Baptism Mary, lived in Persia during the reign of Chosroes I the Elder. She was the wife of the chief magician of the Persian empire. Endowed with a lucid mind, Golinduc perceived the falseness of the pagan wisdom, and she pondered much about what the true Faith might be. When she learned of Christianity, she very much wanted to know what it taught. Soon through the providence of God, her wish was fulfilled. In sleep an angel showed Golinduc the place of torment for sinners and the paradise in which dwell the believers in Christ, the true God. After this dream she began fervently to pray to the true God, so that He might help her become a Christian. The angel of God directed Golinduc to a Christian priest, from whom she received holy Baptism with the name Mary.

After Baptism she left her magician-husband, and he complained to the emperor Chosroes. The emperor himself, and dignitaries sent by him, and illustrious women all urged Golinduc to return to her husband. For her decisive refusal the emperor sentenced her to be imprisoned for life. In prison St Mary-Golinduc spent 18 years.

During the reign of Chosroes’ successor, his son Ormisdas, there arrived in Persia an ambassador of the Byzantine emperor Mauricius, named Aristobulus. Having learned that for many years Mary the Christian was languishing in prison, Aristobulus repeatedly visited her in prison with the permission of the emperor and taught her to sing the Psalms of David. After the departure of Aristobulus, Ormisdas gave orders to present St Mary-Golinduc before him and for a long time he tortured her, subjecting her to all sorts of beatings and torments. But in all the torments through the intercession of God the saint was preserved unharmed. When they gave her over for defilement, the Lord made her invisible to the impious and preserved her purity. Finally the emperor gave orders to cut off the martyr’s head, but the Lord sheltered her from the hand of the executioner and brought her to Christians living in concealment.

When the persecution against Christians in Persia ceased during the reign of Chosroes II, who occupied the throne with the help of the Byzantine emperor Mauricius, St Mary-Golinduc began openly to preach the Christian Faith.

At the end of her life St Mary made pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where she prayed at the tomb of the Lord and other holy places. On the return journey she died (+ 591) in the church of the holy Martyr Sergius at Nisibis.