• Commemoration of the Virgin St. Mary, Mother of God (Coptic)
  • Martyrdom of St. Cyprianus and St. Justina

Commemoration of the Virgin St. Mary, Mother of God
We celebrate on this day the commemoration of the pure St. Mary the Virgin, the Mother of God the Word by whom the salvation of Adam and his offspring came.

Martyrdom of St. Cyprianus and St. Justina
On this day also in the year 257 A.D. the honourable St. Cyprian and St. Justina were martyred. Cyprianus was an infidel and a sorcerer. He learned magic in the country of Morocco and he excelled over his fellows. His excessive impudence and his arrogance made him go to Antioch to challenge the sorcerers there and to pride himself of his knowledge.

When he arrived there, soon his fame spread. A young man, the son of one of the elders of the city, lusted for a Christian virgin who was called Justina, whom he had seen going to church. His heart became inflamed with love for her, but he was unable to obtain what he desired of her either by money, by threat, or by magic. He sought Cyprianus and complained to him about his condition, that he might gain favour with Justina's heart and fulfil his desire for her. Cyprianus promised him the fulfilment of his desire. He used all the work of his sorcery but failed. Every time he sent her a host of devils they found her praying, so they came back defeated.

When Cyprianus failed, he called the devils and told them: "If you do not bring Justina to me l will adopt Christianity". The chief of the devils thought out a device to deceive him. He ordered one of his devils to disguise himself and to take the form of Justina and then go to him. He hastened and made known to Cyprianus her coming, so he rejoiced and waited for her. Then satan disguised as Justina came to him, and Cyprianus rejoiced, and rose to embrace her. He welcomed her by saying: "Welcome, queen of women, Justina". Upon the mere mention of her, the devil who was disguised as her melted away and disappeared like smoke and an unpleasant smell was given off by his body.

Cyprianus rose up straight away and burnt his book of magic and was baptized by the Patriarch of Antioch who ordained him as a monk. After a while he ordained him a deacon, then a priest. When he progressed in virtue and in the doctrine of the Church, they ordained him Bishop of Cartagena in the year 351 A.D. He took Justina and made her the head of a convent there. When the Ecumenical Council convened at Cartagena, this Saint was one of its participants.

When the Emperor Decius heard of Cyprianus and Justina, he had them brought before him and asked them to raise incense for the idols. When they would not obey, he inflicted torture upon them and finally cut off their heads.