Saint Rebecca (Refka)
and her five children, Martyrs
On the 7th day of the Blessed Month of Tute, Sts. Agathon, Peter, John,
Amun, and Amuna and their mother, Rebecca, were martyred. They were from
Kemola of the district of Kus. Our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to them and Informed
them of what would happen to them, and that they would receive the crown of
martyrdom in the city of Shoubra which is near Alexandria, and that their bodies
would be carried to the city of Nakraha in the province of El-Behairah. The Saints
rejoiced at this vision, and they rose up early and gave all their possessions to the
poor. Agathon, their eldest brother, was a man of high position in the city and was
loved by everyone. Rebecca, their mother, strengthened and encouraged them to
endure the torture in the name of the Lord Christ. They came to the city of Kus and
confessed their faith in Christ before Dionysius, the Governor. He tortured them
severely, starting with their mother who bore the torture patiently and with joy, and
then he tortured her five children. When he was weary of torturing them, he was
advised to send them to Alexandria so that they might not lead other people astray,
for they were loved by everyone. Because of them, many confessed their belief in
the Lord Christ and received the crown of martyrdom. When they brought the saints
before Armenius, the Governor of Alexandria, who was in a city called Shoubra, and
learned about their case, he tortured them very severely. He hacked their bodies,
cast them in a boiler, squeezed them with wheels, then crucified them head down.
From all these tortures, the Lord Christ raised them whole until the governor and all
his people were ashamed.
Finally, he ordered to have their heads cut off and to have their bodies drowned in
the sea. They cut their heads off and placed their bodies in a boat to cast them in the
sea. God sent forth His angel to a rich man from the city of Nakraha and
commanded him to take the bodies of the saints and the man was exceedingly glad.
He came to where the bodies were, gave the soldiers much silver and took the holy
bodies. He laid them in the church, and he heard a voice saying, "This is the abode
of the righteous." The bodies remained there till the end of the era of persecutions.
They then revealed the bodies and a big church was built for them. God made
manifest from their relics, many signs and wonders. Then they transferred the bodies
to the city of Sonbat, where there is now a church known as "The Five and Their
Mother" or "El-Sitt Refka" (Lady Rebecca). Many visit this church every year to
receive their blessings.
Their intercession be with us all. Amen.