40 Women Martyrs at Heraclea, in Thrace
The 40 Holy Virgins and Saint Ammoun the Deacon, were from Adrianopolis in Macedonia. Deacon Ammoun was their guide in Christian Faith. They were captured by Baudos the governor, and were tortured because they would not offer sacrifice to idols.
The holy martyrs endured many cruel torments, which were intended to force them to renounce Christ and worship idols. Later, they were sent to Heraclea in Thrace to appear before the tyrant Licinius. The valiant martyrs remained unshakeable, however.
St Ammoun and eight of the virgins were beheaded, ten virgins were burned, six of them died after heated metal balls were put into their mouths, six were stabbed with knives, and the rest were struck in the mouth and stabbed in the heart with swords.
Their names were:
Adamantini Athina Akrivi Antigone Aribea Aspasia Aphrodite Dioni Dodoni Elpiniki Erasmia Erato Erminia Euterpi Thalia Theanoi Theano Theonimfi Theofani Kalliroi Kallisti Kleo Kleoniki Kleopatra Koralia Lambro Margarita Marianthi Melpomeni Mosko Ourania Pandora Penelope Polimnia Poliniki Sapfo Terpsihori Troas Haido Hariklia
And so, as the month of September began, their earthly existence ended but at the same time opened the page of eternity uniting them with Him to whom they had dedicated their life and who first loved them and give His life for them – to Him who had said:
“..you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)