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Saint Tatiana of Rome

Born: end of 2nd-century;  Rome
Died: January 12, 226-235;  Rome

Saint Tatiana was a Christian martyr in 3rd-century Rome during the reign of Emperor Alexander Severus. She was a deaconess of the early church.

She was the daughter of a Roman civil servant who was secretly Christian, and raised his daughter in the faith, and she became a deaconess in the church. This was dangerous, and one day the jurist Ulpian captured Tatiana and attempted to force her to make a sacrifice to Apollo. She prayed, and miraculously, an earthquake destroyed the Apollo statue and part of the temple.

Tatiana was then blinded, and beaten for two days, before being brought to a circus and thrown into the pit with a hungry lion. But the lion did not touch her and lay at her feet. This resulted in a death sentence being pronounced, and after being tortured, Tatiana was beheaded with a sword on January 12, around AD 225 or 230.

Troparion — Tone 4

Your lamb Tatiana, / calls out to You, O Jesus, in a loud voice: / “I love You, my Bridegroom, / and in seeking You, I endure suffering. / In baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in You, / and I died so that I might live with You. / Accept me as a pure sacrifice, / for I have offered myself in love.” / Through her prayers save our souls, since You are merciful.

Kontakion — Tone 4

In your sufferings you shone brightly / in the royal purple of your blood, / and like a beautiful dove you flew to heaven, / passion-bearer Tatiana. / Therefore, always pray for those who honor you.

Prayer to St. Martyr Tatiana of Rome

Oh, holy martyr Tatiano, bride of Thy Sweetest Bridegroom Christ! To the Lamb of the Divine Lamb! A dove of chastity, a fragrant body with suffering as if she had clothed herself in royal clothes, matched to the face of heaven, now rejoicing in eternal glory, a servant of the Church of God from the days of her youth, observing chastity and loving the Lord more than all the blessings of the Lord! We pray to you and we ask you: heed our heartfelt petitions and do not reject our prayers, grant purity of body and soul, breathe love for Divine truths, lead us into the virtuous path, ask God for angelic protection, heal our wounds and ulcers, youth protect, give old age painless and comfortable, help in the hour of death, remember our sorrows and give joy, visit us who are in the dungeon of sin, instruct us to repentance soon, kindle the flame of prayer, do not leave us orphans, but glorifying your suffering, we send praise to the Lord, now, and ever, and forever and ever. Amen.

Life of St. Martyr Tatiana of Rome

Tatiana was a Roman whose parents were of great nobility. Her father was a Roman civil servant who was secretly a Christian and raised his daughter in the faith. She was made a deaconess in one of the Roman churches and served God in fasting and prayer, tending the sick and helping the needy.

This was dangerous for that period, and one day the jurist Ulpian captured Tatiana and attempted to force her to make a sacrifice to Apollo. She prayed, and miraculously, an earthquake destroyed the statue of Apollo and part of the temple. The demon inhabiting the idol fled screeching from that place. Those present saw its shadow flying through the air.

Tatiana was then tortured. They tore holy virgin's eyes out with hooks, but she bravely endured everything, and prayed for her tormentors that the Lord would open their spiritual eyes. And the Lord heard the prayer of His servant. The executioners saw four angels encircle the saint and beat her tormentors. Seeing this, eight of them believed in Christ and fell on their knees before St Tatiana, begging them to forgive them their sin against her. For confessing themselves Christians they were tortured and executed, receiving Baptism by blood.

The next day St Tatiana was brought before the wicked judge. Seeing her completely healed of all her wounds, they stripped her and beat her, and slashed her body with razors. A wondrous fragrance then filled the air. Then she was stretched out on the ground and beaten for so long that the servants had to be replaced several times. The torturers became exhausted and said that an invisible power was beating them with iron rods. Indeed, the angels warded off the blows directed at her and turned them upon the tormentors, causing nine of them to fall dead. They then threw the saint in prison, where she prayed all night and sang praises to the Lord with the angels.

A new morning began, and they took St Tatiana to the tribunal once more. The torturers beheld with astonishment that after such terrible torments she appeared completely healthy and even more radiant and beautiful than before. They began to urge her to offer sacrifice to the goddess Diana. The saint seemed agreeable, and they took her to the heathen temple. St Tatiana made the Sign of the Cross and began to pray. Suddenly, there was a crash of deafening thunder, and lightning struck the idol, the sacrificial offerings and the pagan priests.

Once again, the martyr was fiercely tortured. She was hung up and scraped with iron claws, and her breasts were cut off. That night, angels appeared to her in prison and healed her wounds as before. On the following day, they took St Tatiana to the circus and loosed a hungry lion on her. The beast did not harm the saint, but meekly licked her feet. As they were taking the lion back to its cage, it killed one of the torturers.

They threw Tatiana into a fire, but the fire did not harm the martyr. The pagans, thinking that she was a sorceress, cut her hair, thinking, according to their pagan reasoning, that some sorcery or some magical power was concealed in her hair. Then they locked her up in the temple of Zeus. On the third day, pagan priests came to the temple intending to offer sacrifice to Zeus. They beheld the idol on the floor, shattered to pieces, and the holy martyr Tatiana joyously praising the Lord Jesus Christ.

Finally, Tatiana along with her father were both beheaded on January 12. Thus, Tatiana ended her earthly life about the year 225 A.D., and this heroic virgin, who had the fragile body of a woman but a robust and valiant spirit, was crowned with the immortal wreath of glory.

Tatiana is venerated as a saint, and her feast day is on January 12. The miracles performed by Saint Tatiana are said to have converted many people to the fledgling religion. Saint Tatiana is a patron saint of students, and in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, "Tatiana Day", also known as "Students Day", is a public holiday.

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