Saint Irene of Thessalonica – April 3

Today (April 3) is the feast day of Saint Irene of Thessalonica. Saint Irene is the patron saint of peace and of girls.

St. Irene was a 4th century saint. She was martyred  in 304 A.D. along with her sisters Agape and Chionia. Their “crimes” were possessing the scriptures and refusing to eat food which had been sacrificed to pagan gods. Tradition indicates that Agape and Chionia were martyred by burning first. Irene  was found to be in possession of Christian writings and was sent to a brothel, but nobody would molest her so then she was also executed, probably by burning as well.

Like many early Christian martyrs, Irene and her sisters stand as examples of standing firm in the faith. This is a good opportunity to talk to our children about how to be strong when we find it difficult to practice our faith. Although we are not in danger of being executed, the fear of ridicule can be a strong barrier to practicing our faith. Talk to your children about what they find difficult and why.

You can end your discussion with this verse:

Be vigilant, stay firm in the faith, be brave and strong.  1 Corinthians 16:13

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