July 24. christina of tyre, whose tormentors suffered god's wrath
Lived and died in the 3rd Century
By the time her age reached double digits, Christina was exceptionally beautiful, and many men asked to marry her. Her father, a wealthy governor and idol-worshipper, had other ideas; he wanted her to be a pagan priestess. He placed her in a special room at the top of a high tower, which was beset with gold and silver idols, and ordered her to burn incense before them. He intended to keep her there until she reached full maturity, and he provided her with the comforts of life, including slaves to serve her.
ON TOP OF THE WORLD LOOKING DOWN ON CREATION
Meanwhile, saddened Christina found herself looking out the window in awe of the natural world. She marveled at the stars in the heavens, and wondered about her Creator. It troubled her to worship voiceless and inanimate idols who, made by human hands, could not create anything. She believed there must be one God responsible for her surroundings, and she entreated Him to reveal himself.
Soon God sent an angel to trace the sign of the cross upon Christina. The angel called Christina a Christ’s bride and foretold that she’d suffer for her faith. Christina smashed all of the idols in her room and threw them out the window, which enraged her father who slapped her repeatedly and imprisoned her and ordered her servants’ death.
DADDY-EXECUTIONERS STRIKE AGAIN
When she refused to renounce her faith, her father ordered that she be tied to an iron wheel, beneath which was lit a fire. Her body turned round on the wheel until she was scorched on every side. She was then thrown back into prison.
That night, an angel appeared, healing her wounds and fortifying her. Her father sentenced her to drowning at sea. Though he weighted her with heavy millstones, the angel helped Christina to surface from the ocean unharmed. In a similar story, she was cast into a cage full of vipers and lived. Attributing her survival to sorcery, her father decided to execute her at dawn; however, that very night, her father “spewed forth his soul and went to the grave.”
POSSESSOR OF A BLINDING TONGUE
Next, a pair of authorities who were not her blood relatives resumed with her tortures. After one tormentor died suddenly, the other severed her breasts and her tongue. Christina, incensed, threw her clipped-out tongue in her remaining tormentor’s face and he was instantly blinded. She was locked in a red-hot furnace for five days, but she was found alive unharmed. Seeing this miracle, many came to believe in Christ. Christina submitted to death by impalement, either via a sword or because she was shot full of arrows.
One miracle attributed to Christina is as follows: a priest who doubted the transubstantiation of the Host during Mass prayed to be relieved of his questions. While consecrating the Host in the church of St. Christina, it began to drip blood on his hands and on the cloth below it.