6 August 2020 (MIA)
Macedonian Orthodox Church Calendar
St. Christina, Great Martyr
Born in the city of Tyre, St. Christina was the daughter of the imperial governor, Urban, an idolater. It is not known why her parents gave her the name Christina, but it carried within itself the mystery of her future following of Christ. She knew nothing of Him until the age of eleven. When she reached that age, her father (because of her beauty, wanted to hide her from the world until she was fully grown) made her live on the top floor of a high tower. He gave her every comfort – slaves and gold and silver idols to which to offer daily sacrifice. But the soul of the young Christina was weighed down and suffocated in this idolatrous atmosphere. Looking out of the window by day at the sun, and by night at the wonderful constellations of shining stars, she came through her natural understanding to a firm belief in the one, living God. God, in His great mercy, seeing her yearning for the truth, sent His angel to her who blessed her with the sign of the Cross, named her the bride of Christ and instructed her fully in the things of God. Then Christina smashed all the idols in her rooms, incurring her father’s terrible wrath. He brought her to trial and had her tortured and thrown into prison, intending that she be beheaded on the following day. But that night, Urban, in full health, gave up the ghost and went to the grave before his daughter. After that, two of the governors, Dion and Julian, continued the interrogation of this holy maiden. Christina’s courage in suffering and the marvels which were performed by the power of God brought many of the pagan inhabitants of Tyre to Christianity. During Christina’s torture, Dion suddenly fell dead among the people. His successor, Julian, cut off Christina’s breasts and cut out her tongue. The martyr took her tongue in her hand and threw it into Julian’s face, and he was instantly blinded. Finally, her sufferings for Christ were ended under a sharp sword, but her life went on in the immortal kingdom of the angels. St. Christina suffered with honor in the third century.
The transfiguration of Our Lord
From the 6th to the 15th of August, for eight consecutive days, the Church celebrates the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ. A little while before His voluntary Immaculate Passion and His death on the Cross, Christ isolated Himself for prayer on top of a hill (a mountain, as it is given geographically in Palestine), which is known by the name Tabor. With Him were present His three exceptionally loved and trustworthy Disciples, namely Peter, James and John. This event constitutes a triple divine revelation, when the identity of Jesus is revealed to the Apostles. That is not only the strange change in His appearance and the inundation of light which emanated from His face, but the witnessing of the voice of the Father and the presence of the two most holy people from the “other side”, that is, Moses and Elijah are confirming without a margin of doubt that Jesus is not just a simple person, or a wise teacher, a virtuous reformer of some new-wave of life-style, a charismatic miracle-worker, or even, a Prophet or a Saint, but He is the Son and the Word of the Living God! Hence, the Transfiguration of Christ is a revelation of His divine identity.