ST. REBECCA AND HER FIVE CHILDREN
Coptic Date: 7 Thout
On this day also was the martyrdom of Saints Agathon, Peter, John, Ammon, and Ammona and their mother, Rebecca. They were from Kemola of the district of Kus. Our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to them and informed them of what would happen to them and how they would receive the crown of martyrdom in the city of Shoubra which is near Alexandria, and that their bodies would be carried to the city of Nakarha in the district of Behairah. The Saints rejoiced at this vision, and they rose up early and gave all their possessions to the poor.
Agathon, their eldest brother, was a man of high position in the city and was loved by everyone. Rebecca, their mother, encouraged them and incited them to bear the torture patiently for the name of the Lord Christ. Then they came to the city of Kus and confessed their belief in Christ before Dionysius, the governor, who tortured them severely. He started with their mother who bore the torture patiently and with joy, and then tortured her five children. When he was weary of torturing them, he was advised to send them to Alexandria so that they might not lead other people astray, for they were loved by everyone. Because of them, many confessed their belief in Jesus Christ and received the crown of martyrdom.
When they were brought before Armenius, the governor of Alexandria who learned about their case, he tortured them very severely. He hacked their bodies, cast them in a boiler, squeezed them with wheels, then crucified them upside down. From all these sufferings, our Lord Christ saved them until the governor and all his people were ashamed.
Finally, he ordered them to have their heads cut off and to have their bodies drowned in the sea. God sent forth an angel to a rich man from the city of Nakarha and commanded him to take the bodies of the saints and the man was exceedingly glad for that. He came to where the bodies were, gave the soldiers much silver and took the holy bodies. When he laid them in the church, he heard a voice saying, 'This is abode of the saints.' The bodies remained there till the time of persecutions passed, then their existence was revealed and a big church was built for them. God made manifest from their relics, signs, and wonders. Then they transferred the bodies to the city of Sonbat, where there is a church known as, 'The Five and Their Mother' or 'El-Sitt Refka' (Lady Rebecca). Many visit this church every year to get their blessing.
May their intercession be with us all. Amen.