Commemorated on July 15th
Martyrs Julitta and Kyrikos
The Holy Martyrs Julitta and Kyrikos lived in the city of Iconium in the province of Lykaoneia in Asia Minor. St Julitta was descended from an illustrious family and was a Christian. Widowed early on, she raised her three-year old-son Kyrikos (Quiricus). During the time of the persecution against Christians initiated by the emperor Diocletian (284-305 AD), St Julitta with her son and two trustworthy servants departed the city, 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 AD she was recognized, arrested and brought to trial before governor Alexander. Strengthened by the Lord, she fearlessly answered the judge's questions, and she firmly confessed her faith in Christ. The governor gave orders to beat the Saint with rods. During her torments, St Julitta kept repeating, "I am a Christian, and will not offer sacrifice to demons".
The little boy Kyrikos 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 flung the boy from the high tribunal and kicked him down the stone steps. The boy struck his head on the sharp edges and died. The mother, 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, they beheaded St Julitta with a sword.
The relics of Sts Kyrikos and Julitta were uncovered during the reign of St Constantine the Great (commemorated. May 21). In honour of these holy martyrs a monastery was built near Constantinople, and not far from Jerusalem a church was built. In popular custom, Sts Kyrikos and Julitta are prayed to for family happiness, and the restoring of sick children to health.
Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)
Blessed Julitta, Christ God's rational ewe-lamb, with holy Kyrikos, her three-year-old child, stood at the judgment seat and with authority and great boldness they proclaimed the true Faith of the Christians. In no wise were they afraid of the threats of the tyrants; and now in Heaven, wearing precious crowns, they both rejoice as they stand before Christ our God.
Kontakion (Fourth Tone)
As the Martyr of Christ God, the chaste Julitta, in her arms bare Kyrikos, she cried out in the stadium with manful courage and boundless joy: You are the strength of the Martyrs, O Christ my God.