These illustrious Martyrs contested in the city of Edessa in Syria. Shamuna and Guria contested during the reign of Diocletian, in 288; after many tortures, they were cast into prison, then beheaded. Saint Habib, a deacon, contested in the days of Licinius, in the year 316, and was burned alive; he was buried with Saints Shamuna and Guria. On account of a renowned miracle they worked, they are invoked for help in marital difficulties. A certain Goth had come with the Roman army to Edessa and was quartered in the house of a pious widow named Sophia. The Goth asked Sophia for the hand of her daughter, Euphemia; after resisting for a long time, Sophia at last agreed. When it was time for the army to return home, Sophia made the Goth vow on the shrine of the holy Martyrs Shamuna, Guria, and Habib, to keep Euphemia as the apple of his eye. As he was nearing his home, however, the treacherous man revealed to Euphemia that he already had a wife. Euphemia was compelled to serve the Goths wife, who dealt with her mercilessly out of jealousy. Euphemia was by this time pregnant and when the Syrian girl brought forth a child who looked remarkably like his father, the wife’s worst fears were confirmed. She began to persecute Euphemia in every way imaginable. Finally her anger a jealously reached such a pitch the she determined to kill the baby. To this end she procured poison; and having sent Euphemia on an errand she fed it to the infant. When Euphemia returned to her quarters she found her baby dead and a kind of froth on his mouth. She took a cloth and wiped the froth from the baby’s mouth. The next time she gave wine to her mistress she dipped the cloth in the cup saying, “Let God be the judge. If she be innocent all will be well.” Upon drinking the wine, the wife of the Goth became ill and died. She was placed in the family tomb. But her relatives were suspicious of the slave girl and shut her up in the same tomb a few days later, leaving her to die. So here was this poor child shut in a dark tomb with a rotting corpse and she lamented and prayed saying “Where now are the Saints of my homeland, where their promised protection and help?” And as Euphemia was thus praying, she was miraculously conveyed to Edessa, and was found by the shrine of the holy Martyrs and was reunited with her mother through their holy prayers. The Goth eventually returned to Edessa, was brought before the judges and condemned to death for his crimes.
Holy Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto
The Holy Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (HOMT) was established in 1991, under the spiritual guidance of His Eminence, Metropolitan Andrew. HOMT is a member of the Holy Orthodox Church in North America and operates out of St. Nicholas House located on the northern city limits of Toronto.
The primary goal of HOMT is to facilitate the maintenance of an ecclesiastical diocese that shall practice and forever uphold the Orthodox Christian faith, worship, teachings, and way of life in full accordance with the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Christian Church.
To achieve this goal, HOMT aims to establish organizations, programs and events to continue to develop and promote religious education and way of life of our faithful in the form of lecture series, discussion forums and educational material.
St. Nicholas House is open to all members of HOMT and, everyone is free to visit or access it at anytime as it continues to serve as a centre for the work of the Diocese.
HOMT has member parishes and missions across Canada with its cathedral located in in Toronto – St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral (English-language services)
Through our initiatives, HOMT also supports, by labour and financial contributions other Orthodox communities around the world including: Greece, Uganda, Georgia and Russia.