The Holy Martyr Heliconis lived during the third century in the city of Thessalonica. Saint Heliconis arrived in the city of Corinth during a persecution of Christians, and urged the pagans to stop serving senseless idols and instead to worship the one true God, the Creator of the universe.
She was arrested and brought before the governor Perinus, who vainly attempted to persuade the saint to offer sacrifice to idols, both by flattery and by threats. The holy martyr was subjected to tortures, but she bravely endured them. Then they threw her into a hot furnace, but she emerged from it unharmed, because an angel of the Lord had cooled the flames.
Thinking the saint was a sorceress, the governor invented new torments for her. They tore the skin from her head, and burned her breasts and head with fire. After halting the torture, the judge again attempted to urge Saint Heliconis to offer sacrifice to the idols, promising her honors and the title of priestess. The saint seemed to consent, and the pagan priests and the people led her to the pagan temple with the sounds of trumpet and drum.
At the saint’s request, they left her there alone. Saint Heliconis, filled with heroic strength, cast down and smashed all the idols. When some time had passed, the pagan priests entered their temple. Seeing the destruction, they were even more enraged and cursed the holy virgin shouting, “Put the sorceress to death!” They beat the holy martyr, and then they threw her into prison, where she spent five days.
Christ the Savior and the holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel appeared to the holy martyr in prison and healed her of her wounds. Finally, they sent the saint to be torn apart by wild beasts. They set loose three hungry lions upon her, but the beasts came up to the martyr meekly and lay down at her feet. The pagan mob shouted and cried, “Death to the sorceress.”
But at this point the lions jumped out of the arena and pounced on the people, who fled in terror. Not knowing what else to do, the governor ordered that Saint Heliconis be beheaded. The saint went to execution with joy and heard a Voice summoning her to the heavenly habitations.
She contested in the year 244, and her body was reverently buried by Christians.