Learn From St. Thecla!

Above is a picture of the hand of St. Thecla, whom we commemorated on 7 October/ 24 September. The picture is taken from the website of the Serbian Patriarchate. The Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was served at the St. Archangel Michael Church in Sarajevo on her feastday, where a portion of her relics preserved. According to tradition waters are blessed on this day at this church with the blessing from the hand of St. Thecla.

It was St. Sava who brought her relics from Antioch in the year 1233. Patriarch Arsenije IV (Jovanovic) gave th relics to the Serbian church in Sarajevo in 1733 while it was Metropolitan of Sarajevo Sava (Kosanovic) who took the relics to Russia in 1873 where the golden glove was made.

The life of St. Thecla is amazing. It was the Apostle Paul who converted her to Christianity, during his stay in Iconium.  When St. Paul was thrown in prison (mostly because of his influence on Thecla) she went in the middle of the night, bribed the watchman by giving him her necklace and other golden ornaments just so he would open the doors for her so she could talk to her beloved teacher in the faith, Paul. St. John Chrysostom comments on this saying, “Learn of St. Thecla, who gave her gold to the prison guard that she might see Paul, O you who do not care sufficiently to behold Christ to give even a single silver coin in alms.”

Another detail from her life worth noting was how towards the end of her life, after they gave up trying to put her to death, by orders of her mother mind you (at the stake, wild beasts, a pit of poisounous reptiles, etc.). While she was living near the city of Seleucia a pagan priest happen to be passing by. Thecla, by the way, was breathtakingly beautiful and this priest, seeing her, was seized by evil desires. He tried to force himself on her but she struck him with such force he lay motionless on the ground for three days. Finally, word got around and people came to help the priest back to his home. The priest ordered an artist to to depict a maiden eighteen years of age. When the artist was finished with his work, by God’s grace, it looked almost exactly like Thecla. “That’s her,” the priest exclaimed and with that he kissed the picture. He was completely healed. Needless to say, he and all his household came to believe in Christ.

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Picture below: The procession around the church in Sarajevo with the relics of St. Thecla

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5 thoughts on “Learn From St. Thecla!

  1. Dear Fr. Milovan, I was looking for a life of St. Thekla on line to share with my Senior High Church School class, and then I wanted to add something about her relics in Stara Crkva in Sarajevo, and your wesite popped up. Thank you so much for this historic and spiritual link between St. Petka and St. Sava. I’m sure my class will find it very interesting. I did find a rather more complete life of St. Thecla on the website of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Thank God we have multiple sources from which we can create lessons for special feast days. Thank you once again. In Christ, Protinica Vickie Trbuhovich

  2. Happy birthday tata! Don’t tell anyone that I told you your present. It is a hickory football game. Friday night. It is Greenville vs. Hickory Hornets. Me you and vaso!

  3. Thanks for posting this, dear Father! I recently came across two beautiful videos on YouTube showing excepts from the Liturgy and the Slava to St Thekla at the Stara Crkva in Sarajevo, and they moved me to tears (of joy, of course!). Thanks also for your greetings on my Slava — it was a joyous day indeed!

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