Saint Irene and her two sisters, St. Agape and St. Chionia were Christians from Thessalonica, Macedonia.
Agape and Chionia were brought before Dulcitius, governor of Macedonia, on the charge of refusing to eat food which had been earlier offered in sacrifice to the gods. He asked Agape and Chionia where they had developed this objection to such food, and Chionia responded that she had learned it from her Lord Jesus Christ. She and Agape again refused to eat the sacrificed food, and were burned alive.
St. Irene meanwhile was discovered to possess texts of the Scriptures despite a decree issued in 303 by Emperor Diocletian declaring possession a crime punishable by death. Once arrested, the governor, Dulcitius, ordered Irene be sent to a house of prostitution.
St Irene was exposed naked and chained at the brothel, yet remained unmolested. She was put to death either by burning or by an arrow through her throat. Their feast day is celebrated April 3rd.
Condemned to death for possessing a few pages of Sacred text? Lord, may I never take my possession of the Bible, of Your Word, lightly.
God, grant me the grace to control my physical appetites as Sts Agape and Chionia did. They were able to refuse food sacrificed to pagan god’s for the health of their soul, please help me to refuse unnecessary food for the health of my body.
Oh Lord, may my humble soul be pleasing to You. When I read these awesome stories of the saints and I feel like I have no courage or fortitiude compared to them, remind me that weakness can be strength.