Photine of Samaria
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The holy and glorious Great-martyr Photine of Samaria (also Photini or Svetlana), Equal-to-the-Apostles, encountered Christ at the well of Jacob. Tradition relates that the Apostles baptized her with the name "Photine" meaning "enlightened one." Her feast days are celebrated on February 26 with those who suffered with her (Greek tradition), March 20 (Slavic tradition), and the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman.
The Gospel of John (4:5-42) relates the encounter of Photine, the Samaritan woman, with Christ at Jacob's well. She repented after a very gentle and wise conversation with Christ and went and told her townspeople that she had met the Christ. For this, she is sometimes claimed as the first to proclaim the Gospel of Christ.
She converted her five sisters (Ss. Anatole, Photo, Photis, Paraskeve, and Kyriake) and her two sons (St. Photinos, formerly known as Victor, and St. Joses). They all became tireless evangelists for Christ.
In 66 AD, under the persecutions of Emperor Nero, they all achieved the crown of martyrdom, along with the Duke St. Sebastianos, the close friend of St. Photinos.
- O Almighty Saviour, Who did pour forth water for the Hebrews from a solid rock:
- You did come to the Land of Samaria, and addressed a woman,
- whom You did attract to faith in You,
- and she has now attained life in the heavens everlastingly.