Thursday, April 07, 2011

Saint Argyre – Bride of Christ

From here.

Saint Argyre – Bride of Christ.

Saint Argyre was born in Proussa, Asia Minor in 1688 of pious parents, George and Sosani.

She was modest and endowed with exceptional graces such as faith, prudence, patience and humility.

A certain rich Turk who lived close to her house was astounded by her beauty and kept asking her to deny her faith and become his wife. Argyre refused his proposal coldly and with disdain. However, he continued to insist and bother her parents threatening them that they would lose their daughter’s life if they did not give her to him.

As a result the blessed parents were compelled to marry her at 17 years old with a Orthodox Christian gentleman and while the mystery of the marriage was being performed in the Church, twenty enraged heterodox young men charged in and grabbed Argyre in front of all those present, including the groom.

They took her directly to the judge as she was, still dressed in her bridal gown. Six people accused her of breaking her promise that she supposedly made to the rich young man to marry him.

The judge, who was the young man's father, gave her the following choice: “Either become a Turkish woman and marry my son or die in prison.”

The steadfast and fearless Argyre refused the proposal and was locked up in jail.

Her parents, crazy from their sadness, sought the intervention of the Patriarch and of the Official Turkish government.

Their steps proved fruitless. Argyre was brought to Constantinople and locked up in jail to wait for a new trial.

She waited in anguish for two whole years and the decision that was finally made confirmed the original one: Either she become a Turk or wilt in the damp jail cells among immoral women who would continuously urge her to deny her faith to save her life. Therefore, chained they brought her to her miserable and squalid jail cell. Savage beatings, insults and degrading followed as to debase her pure soul. However, on the contrary they strengthened her faith in the Crucified One. She perceived that her end was approaching and wished to commune without fail. But how?

There in the jail was a reverend elder who was free to go in and out of jail since they trusted him.

Saint Argyre revealed her secret to him and he, as a true father, ran to the church. The priest was shaken and cried bitter tears, wondering how he could help the young woman.

Here is how the Good Lord enlightened him. He stuffed inside a raisin as much of the Immaculate Mysteries as possible and gave it to the elder.

The elder, with great fear and piety passed through the guards with the salvific gift and arrived at his destination.

The holy Argyre, moved and overcome, received with divine joy the last sustenance of her life and humbly asked the Lord to receive her in His Heavenly Kingdom.

The following day she surrendered her spirit into the hands of the Lord and was added to the choir of martyrs. It was 5 April 1721 AD. She was buried in the courtyard of the Church of the Holy Martyr Paraskevi in Chaskioî.

The reverend elder bestowed the last honors, placing a stone Cross on her tomb, the prize of her victory, which survived until the time of Patriarch Constantine.

The Christians of the region on 30 April 1725 wished to transfer the Saint’s relics. They invited the Patriarch, Paisios, together with the Holy Synod to be present during the holy service. When they opened the tomb, they were all amazed as her body had remained incorrupt and gave off a pleasant aroma. The Patriarch instructed her relics to be placed in a magnificent reliquary within the Holy Church of Saint George in Constantinople and the whole Orthodox world officially celebrates her feast as a Saint on 30 April.

Apolytkion of the Saint. (4th Tone)

Thou didst put tyrants to shame through (your) tortures, O modest one, being shown forth, O much-suffering one, as strong as a diamond, O glorious martyr of Christ, thou showed forth in struggles love and zeal and unquenchable longing for Christ the Savior: wherefore, O Argyre, did He worthily glorify thee.

Publication “Orthodox Kypseli”  

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