Charitina of Amisus
|Charitina of Amisus|
Miniature from the Menologion of Basil II
|Born||on or around 287 A.D.|
Amisus on The Black Sea
St. Charitina of Amisus (also known as Charitina of Rome), was a virgin from Asia Minor, distinguished by strict chastity and piety. Charitina spent her life in fasting, prayer and study. By her example she converted many to Christianity during the reign of Emperor Diocletian and was seized in the city of Amisus in Pontus. After torture, death, burial and desecration, her body was thrown into the sea in the year 304.
Orphaned young, she was the servant of an eminent Christian man called Claudius the pious, who brought her up as his own daughter. The young woman was very pretty, sensible, and kind. She imparted her love for Christ to others, and she converted many to the way of salvation. Charitina was meek, humble, obedient and silent. Although not as yet baptized, she was a Christian at heart. She studied the law of God day and night and vowed to live in perpetual virginity as a true bride of Christ.
Having brought others to the Christian faith, the Emperor Diocletian's governor, Dometius, heard of her and sent soldiers to take her from her foster-father for trial. The judge asked her: "Is it true, little girl, that you are a Christian, and that you delude others by bringing them to this dishonourable faith?" Charitina courageously replied: "It is true that I am a Christian, and a lie that I delude others. I lead those in error to the way of truth, bringing them to my Christ."
The judge ordered that her hair be cut off and live coals put on her head, but the maiden was preserved by God's power. They threw her into the sea, but she clambered out saying, "This is my baptism." God delivered her from it. She was bound to a wheel which began to turn, but an angel of God stopped the wheel and Charitina remained unharmed. Then the wicked judge sent some dissolute youths to rape her. Fearing this dishonour, St Charitina prayed to God to receive her soul before these dissolute men could foul her virginal body and so, while she was kneeling in prayer, her soul went out from her body to the immortal Kingdom of Christ St. Charitina died a martyr’s death in the year 304.
Kontakion of St Charitina
- Thou didst arm thy soul with faith and knowledge and put the enemy to open shame.
- Thou didst stand before Christ in a robe dyed with thy blood and art now rejoicing with the Angels.
- Pray for us, Martyr Charitina.
Charitina is represented with an angel extinguishing a funeral pyre.
- "Martyr Charitina of Amisus", Ortodox Church in America
- Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
- Baring-Gould, Sabine Rev., The Lives of the Saints, vol. eleven, p.117, John C. Nimmo, London, 1898
- The Holy Martyr Charitina of Amisus
- Dunbar, Agnes B. C., A Dictionary of Saintly Women, vol.I, p. 173, George Bell & Sons, London, 1904