Jul 15, 2021
Our Church commemorates today the feast day of the Martyr Cyricus and his mother, Julitta, of Tarsus, patron saints of family happiness and of sick children.
The Holy Martyrs Cyricus and Julita lived in the city of Iconium in the province of Lykaoneia in Asia Minor. Saint Julita was descended from an illustrious family and was a Christian. Widowed early on, she raised her three-year old-son Cyricus. During the emperor Diocletian’s persecution of Christians, Saint Julita departed the city with her son and two trustworthy servants, leaving behind her home, property, and servants.
Concealing her noble rank, she hid out first at Seleucia, and then at Tarsus. There around the year 305 she was recognized, arrested and brought to trial before the governor, Alexander. Strengthened by the Lord, she fearlessly answered the judge’s questions, and firmly confessed her faith in Christ.
The governor gave orders to beat the saint with rods. During her torments Saint Julita kept repeating, “I am a Christian, and will not offer sacrifice to demons.”
The little boy Cyricus cried, seeing his mother being tortured, and wanted to go to her. The governor Alexander tried to sit him on his lap, but the boy broke free and shouted, “Let me go to my mother, I am a Christian.” The governor threw the boy down from the high tribunal and kicked him down the stone steps. The boy struck his head on the sharp edges and died.
Saint Julita, seeing her lacerated son, gave thanks to God that He had permitted her child to be perfected before her, and to receive the unfading crown of martyrdom. After many cruel tortures Saint Julita was beheaded with a sword.
The relics of Saints Cyricus and Julita were uncovered during the reign of Saint Constantine the Great (May 21). A monastery was built near Constantinople in honor of these holy martyrs, and a church was built not far from Jerusalem.
We pray to Saints Cyricus and Julita for family happiness, and the restoration of sick children to health.