Spiritual developmentReligion

Photina saint: icon, prayer, angel's day

The history of the Orthodox religion knows many examples of people who suffered severe hardships and torment for the sake of spirituality and the affirmation of faith. One of these is Fotinia - a saint who preached Christianity at the dawn of his path, in times of severe persecution. A well-known ascetic repeatedly demonstrated the wonders of prayer and converted thousands of people to faith. Believers still apply to her image with requests for help and healing from severe ailments.

The Parable of Living Water

In the Gospel of John there is a chapter narrating about the meeting of Christ with the Samaritan woman. In those days, Jews and Samaritans (settlers from Mesopotamia) lived in cold hostility. Evangelizing the gospel, Jesus kept his way through the Samaritan lands. Stopping near the city of Sihar, he wanted to drink water from the well of Jacob. Just at that moment a young woman approached. It was Fotinia (the day of the angel - April 2, according to a new style). Christ asked her for help, which greatly surprised the woman, because he was a Jew. Jesus answered her that if she knew whom she was talking to, she would ask for Him living water, which will become the source of eternal life. Christ spoke of the Christian faith. He also told the details of her life, pointed out her sins, and Photina immediately recognized him as a prophet. She returned to the city of Samaria and told everyone about the coming of the Savior, after which many Samaritans believed in the Messiah and turned to the Christian faith.

Emperor Nero

After this significant meeting, Fotinia (Svetlana) went to Carthage (North Africa) to preach Christianity there. Despite the persecution of the Gentiles, she did so openly, fearlessly and selflessly. When the apostles Paul and Peter were killed, Jesus appeared to her in a dream and told him to go to Rome, to the Emperor Nero, to continue the spiritual path of his predecessors. Together with five sisters, the ascetic began to fulfill the mission. At that time in Rome there were cruel persecutions against Christians. Arriving at the palace, Fotinia and her sisters were seized by pagans. Nero ordered to cut off the hands of women. But no matter how the guards tried, they could not do this, they themselves fell to the ground, writhing with pain. And those wounds that they managed to inflict on them, immediately disappeared.

The Temptation of Photinia

Then the cunning and haughty Nero, not wanting to believe in Christ, decided to tempt Fotinia and her companions. He put her in a palace, treated tasty, delicious dishes, surrounded by a hundred slaves for the service. There was also the daughter of the emperor - Domina. Forty days later he visited Fotinia and was very surprised when he learned that all the female slaves surrounding him, including his daughter, had converted to Christianity.

Enraged, Nero ordered the skin to be torn off Fotinia and then toss the woman into the withered well. The same fate befell the sisters of the martyr. A few days later, Fotinia was taken from the well, she was still alive and did not give up her faith. Then she was shut in the dungeon for another 20 days. And again Nero called her to his palace, but even then he did not get her worship and acceptance of paganism. Fotinia just laughed and spat in his face. Then it was thrown into the well again.

Thus the martyr Fotinia completed her earthly life. The saint before death did not renounce Christ, striking the pagans with miracles of prayer. She was ranked among the holy martyrs, who are still patronizing the needy and doubting their faith.


The gospel account of the meeting of the Savior and Photinae was reflected more than once in the visual arts. Examples include a fresco in the church house of Dura-Europos, made around the 3rd century (to this day only the figure of the Samaritan woman has survived), and a mosaic in the Renaissance temple of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo (around the sixth century).

The memory of St. Svetlana also lives in iconography. The most ancient icons with the image of the martyr are dated to the 19th century. It is believed that its images help people to strengthen the spirit, overcome the temptations of sin, gain the firmness of faith that the Photonians brought to the Samaritans. The icon of her patronizes not only women named Svetlana, but also all suffering.

Saint Svetlana protects mental and physical health. Her image in the house is a pledge of a strong family, well-being and understanding between generations, protection from evil intentions and deeds.

Christian traditions say that when she met with the Savior Fotinia, the saint received power over the water element. So she survived when the Roman pagans threw her into the well, and healed people with fever. Holy Svetlana helps people with a similar ailment.


Fotinia had two sons - Josiah (Joseph) and Victor. The first one helped the mother in preaching the Gospel, the second was the Roman military commander. They also had in their lives the hardships and temptations of faith. However, the wise instruction and prayer of the mother helped them to overcome all this. Today, with sincere faith in the image of the martyr, many mothers find solace and solving problems with children. Saint Photina (prayer for her inspires believers, gives confidence in her own strengths) teaches us not to be afraid of difficulties. Therefore, it is possible to address it with prayer not only in days of memory, but also every day:

"Pray to God for me, holy saint of God, great martyr Fotinia, as I am assiduously turning to you, an ambulance and prayer-book about my soul."

Miracles of Healing

There are cases when appeals to Fotinia's image helped to heal from severe skin diseases, musculoskeletal system, to defeat fever. Today, its image reminds believers that it is necessary to do good and believe with all your heart, despite all the trials.

When the Roman torturers tortured the martyr, she was unharmed by the power of prayer, her wounds healed quickly and without a trace. With her life Photina, the saint proved that miracles are possible when you believe in them and create them yourself by the power of faith.

Holy places

The biblical story of the meeting of Christ and the Samaritan woman Fotinia has a real geographical confirmation. In Israel, one of the most beautiful and picturesque places that attract thousands of pilgrims, is the Well of Jacob (Jacob). Next to it is an ancient temple, which was destroyed three times and rebuilt again. The well itself reaches 40 meters in depth. The water from it is considered healing.

The relics of Photinian Samaritan are kept on the island of Crete, in the village of Fodele, in the monastery of the martyr named after the martyr. The streams of pilgrims arrive here every year to strengthen their faith and ask for help in resolving spiritual problems.

In the territory of the CIS there are many temples of Saint Photini, where her Christian feat is honored and miraculous images are found. One of these is the Church of the Great Martyr in Dnepropetrovsk.

Photini Palestine

In Christian sources, there is a story about another ascetic of faith with the name Photina (the day of the angel - February 26, according to a new style). She was from Caesarea, therefore she received the prefix of the Palestinian. During the storm, the ship on which she was sailing with other passengers was wrecked. Clutching at the board, Photinia alone escaped and swam to the island, where in prayers and fasts the blessed Martinian was. He converted the woman to Christianity, and left the island himself. Three times a year the ship was on the island and brought food. Fotinia of Palestine remained to live on the rock and continued the martyrdom of Martinian. Six years she remained in fasting and prayer, and after she died and was buried in her native Caesarea.

Saint Photinia (her life refers to the fifth century) helps people to gain faith, improve mental and physical health, and patronize mariners.

Fotinia Cyprus

There is one more legend about Fotinia of Cyprus. Her life dates back to the 15th century. She was born in Karpasia (eastern part of Cyprus) in a pious family. In her youth she decided to become the bride of Christ and left her father's house. Fotinia settled in a cave, surrendering to fasting and prayers. Soon the virgin was filled with the grace of God and began to produce miracles of healing. The news spread throughout the island and beyond. Many Christians turned to her for advice and for the maintenance of spiritual forces.

Today the cave, in which Fotinius the saint once worked, is a place of pilgrimage. In it is a throne and a deep spring, the liturgy is read. Each new moon at the source rises water with a thin film of sand. It is believed that the water bestows healing from many diseases, and sand blurs the eyes of the blind for insight. The cave is located near the Cyprian village of Agios Andronikos. And the relics of the ascetic herself are placed in the church of the Apostle Andrew. The saint's memory day falls on August 2 (according to a new style).

Thus, there are three days in the year, when all Svetlana celebrate the name day. But this is not an ordinary holiday, but a day of remembrance of the patron saint, deep in the spiritual sense. Here business is not limited to a feast and gifts. According to the Christian tradition, on the day of Saint Photini-Svetlana, they go to church, confess, and partake of the Holy Mysteries. They are also treated with grateful prayer to the Lord and patroness.

Fotinia the saint (Samaritan) is also remembered at the fifth week of Pascha. At this time the liturgy is read, thanksgiving and laudatory prayers are given for the martyrdom in the name of the Christian faith.

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