February 19

St. Philothei was born in Athens, and was part of a very rich and aristocratic family. Her father was Angelo Benizelos and her mother was Syrigi, barren woman, and gave birth to the Saint by her fervent and constant prayers. At twelve years of age, she was pressured to marry a rich Athenian, who would mistreat her. In three years, however, her husband died, and she was freed of his ill-treatment. Her parents pressured her to get married for a second time; however, St. Philothei decided to become a nun and gave away her prosperity for the betterment of the poor and the freedom of Greek slaves. This last event did not sit well with the Turkish people, who attacked the monastery and greatly wounded the Saint. She gave up her soul to the Lord in 1589.


The famed city of Athens doth honour Philothei, the righteous Martyr, whose relics it now revereth with joy; for while living in sobriety and holiness, she hath exchanged all earthly things for the everlasting life through great contests as a Martyr; and she entreateth the Saviour to grant His mercy unto all of us.


We all honour Philothei with jubilation of spirit, as this day we rev’rently worship her ven’rable relics. For she lived her whole life working kindness and mercy; and the righteous one, receiving a martyr’s ending, is deemed worthy to entreat God that all be granted eternal life with the Saints.