september 10. menodora at nicoMEDia, sister wife
Menodora was one of three sisters from Bithynia who were also Holy Virgins. The pious triad wanted to preserve their virginity as true brides of Christ. They withdrew from the city to the wilderness where they lived in solitude and spent their days fasting in prayer. There, they wished to free themselves of everything in this deceitful world.
SOON TO BE SLAIN LAMBS
Through the sisters' intercessions, the sick became healed, and word of their powers spread throughout the land. Frontonus, the region's ruler, ordered that the three girls be seized and brought before him. Little did they know, they were soon to "follow the way of the Lamb who was slain."
Upon seeing them, the ruler was amazed at the three sisters' beauty, for even though their bodies were withered from fasting, their faces were illumined by God's grace. Frontonus tried to persuade them to renounce Christ, but they rejected his suggestions. They said they were above temporal pleasures, and they were ready to die for the Heavenly Bridegroom, "for death would be their gateway to eternal life."
Enraged, the ruler took his wrath out on the eldest sister, Menodora. Four men stripped her and beat her, while a herald urged her to offer sacrifice to the gods. She endured and cried out, "Can't you see that I'm offering myself as a sacrifice to my God?!" The four men became more severe, and in the end she "gave up her soul to God."
Four days later, the four men brought Menodora's sisters to the court. They frightened the girls by showing them Menodora's battered body. The two virgins wept, but remained steadfast. The next of the three sisters was then martyred, as the final sister looked on. Frontonus hoped that the third would be intimidated at the sight of her sisters' bruised bodies, and that she'd worship his pagan gods. She scoffed at this, and was beaten to death with iron rods.
The three holy virgin sisters were to be burned in a fire, but a heavy rain extinguished it and a rod of lightening struck down Frontonus and his servants.