Oil Dedicated to St Aquilina (An Angel Appeared to Her)
St Aquilina, a native of the Phoenician city of Byblos, suffered under Emperor Diocletian in the third century. She was raised in Christian piety by her parents. When she was only twelve years old, she persuaded a pagan friend to convert to Christ. One of the servants of Governor Volusian accused her of teaching others to reject paganism. She was taken before the governor where she firmly confessed her belief and said that she would not renounce Him. Volusian tried to influence her through persuasion and flattery, but seeing her confidence, he ordered her to be tortured.
She was struck upon the face, and then stripped and beaten with whips. Her torturers asked, “Where then is your God? Let Him come and take you out of our hands.” But the saint answered, “The Lord is here with me invisibly, and the more I suffer, the more strength and endurance will He give me.”
Heated metal rods were then drilled through her ears, and St. Aquilina fell down as if dead. The torturers thought that she had actually died, and gave orders that her body be thrown outside the city to be eaten by dogs. However, later that night, a holy angel appeared to St Aquilina, roused her and said, “Arise and be healed. Go and denounce Volusian, so that he and his plans may come to nothing.”
St. Aquilina went back before the court and stood before Governor Volusian. Seeing her, he called for his servants and ordered them to keep watch over her until morning.
The next morning he sentenced St. Aquilina to death, saying that she was a sorceress who refused his imperial decrees. While being led to her execution, St. Aquilina prayed and gave thanks to God for allowing her to suffer for His Holy Name.