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[[Euphemia |Euphemia the Great Martyr]] lived in the 3rd century AD. She was the daughter of pious parents. Her father was a senator named Philophronos and her mother was Theodosia. She was born in [[Chalcedon]], located across the Bosporus from the city of [[Byzantium]] (modern-day Istanbul). From her youth she dedicated her life to Christ and practiced the virtues of prayer, fasting and chastity.
The governor of [[Chalcedon]], Priscus, had made a decree that all of the inhabitants of the city take part in sacrifices to the pagan god Ares. [[Euphemia]] was discovered with other Christians who were hiding in a house and worshiping the Christian God, in defiance of the governor's orders. Because of their refusal to sacrifice, they were tortured for a number of days, and then handed over to the Emperor for further torture. [[Euphemia]], the youngest among them, was separated from her companions in the hope that she betray Christ if she was on her own. She was promised worldy riches but refused to deny Christ. She was subjected to particularly harsh torments, including the wheel, in hopes of breaking her spirit but the wheel miraculously stopped and an Angel of the Lord ministered to her wounds.