Oil Dedicated to St Febronia (virgin)
St Febronia suffered during the reign of Emperor Diocletian in the third century. She was raised at a monastery in Sivapolis (Assyria). The head of the women’s monastery was the abbess Bryaena, who was St. Febronia’s aunt. Being concerned about her niece’s salvation, she assigned her a stricter form of life than the other nuns. According to their monastic rule, the sisters put aside their other duties on Fridays and spent the whole day in prayer and the reading of Holy Scripture. The abbess usually assigned the reading to St. Febronia.
News of St Febronia’s pious life spread throughout the city. The illustrious young widow Hieria, a pagan, began to visit her, and under her guidance and prayers, Hieria accepted Holy Baptism, as well as bringing her parents and other relatives to Christianity.
St. Febronia was beaten repeatedly, and blood flowed from her wounds. In order to intensify her suffering, she was tied to a tree and a fire was set under it. The tortures were so inhuman that the people began to demand an end to her sufferings since St. Febronia refused to confess her guilt. Selenos continued to mock and jeer at her, but St. Febronia was silent. Because of the weakness brought on by the beatings, she was unable to utter a word. In a rage, Selenos gave orders to tear out her tongue, smash her teeth, and finally, to cut off both hands and feet. The people were unable to bear witness to such a horrid spectacle and left the scene of the torture, cursing Diocletian and his gods.