St. Zoe Orthodox Saint History and Name Day Information

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During the days of the early church, Christians were regularly persecuted, especially in Rome. It wasn’t until the early 300’s, under the rule of the Emperor Constantine, that the Roman Empire transitioned into Christianity. Until then, Christians were regularly singled out and martyred for their beliefs.

Saint Zoe is one of those individuals who were persecuted in the time period before Rome became predominantly Christian. Her feast day is celebrated each year on December 18th. Those who are named after her celebrate their name days on this day. Here’s more information about Saint Zoe:

About Saint Zoe

The Martyr Zoe is usually mentioned together with Saint Sebastian. Zoe was married to Nicostratus, who was Sebastian’s jailer. She was afflicted with a condition that prevented her from speaking for six years. She she saw Saint Sebastian, she is said to have fallen to the ground, gesturing to the saint that she wanted to be healed. She was healed from her affliction after he made the sign of the cross over and she became a Christian on the spot. Not only that, but all the people who witnessed became believers as well, Nicostratus included.

The pair asked Saint Sebastian to baptize them. The saint advised Nicostratus to serve God instead of the state. After a long conversation, the saint realized that Zoe and Nocostratus were sincere about their desire to become baptized. Eventually, the couple came to be baptized and they served the Lord. Saint Zoe was arrested and asked to renounce Christ. Instead, she confessed her love for Him. She was martyred by being hanged over the smoke from a great fire. After her death, her body was thrown into the river Tiber.

Hymns of Saint Zoe

Saint Zoe, along with Saint Sebastian and the rest of his companions, share a series of hymns that are sung on their feast day, which is on December 18th. The hymns are sung in many languages and here is the version that is translated from the original Greek:

Apolytikion of Martyrs Sebastian & Companions – Fourth Tone

Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons’ strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Kontakion of Martyrs Sebastian & Companions – Fourth Tone

Since thou wast great in zeal for godly religion, thou didst assemble an alliance of Martyrs, and in their midst, thou shonest like a flashing star. With the arrows that did pierce thy much-suffering body, thou didst slay the enemy, O Great Martyr Sebastian; and thou thyself didst fly as from a bow into the Heavens, where Christ hath received thy soul.

As you can see, Saint Zoe is important to the church and her feast day is celebrated each year on December 18th. She is remembered on the same day as Saint Sebastian.  Check the Name Day page for more information about other Orthodox Christian name days.


Martyr Zoe at Rome – Also Source for Image Above

Constantine the Great and Christianity

Sebastian the Martyr & his Companions

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This post was written by Greek Boston