St. Photini

St. Photini by Aidan Hart

On Monday, we honor St. Photini, one of the first of all people to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. St. Photini lived in first century Palestine and was the Samaritan woman who Christ visited at the well asking her for water. It was she who accepted the “living water” offered her by Christ Himself (John. 4:5-42). All her life, she would continue to draw from this well of life as she remembered His words to her, and shared this living water with others.

St. Photini invited all she knew to drink from this well, and eventually converted her five sisters (Sts. Anatole, Photo, Photis, Paraskeve, and Kyriake) and her two sons (Victor and Joses). They all became tireless evangelists for Christ. Later, the apostles of Christ baptized her and gave her the name of Photini which means “the enlightened one.” She is remembered by the Church as a Holy Martyr and Equal to the Apostles. 

After Sts. Peter and Paul were martyred, St. Photini and her family left Samaria and traveled to Carthage to proclaim the Gospel of Christ there. During the reign of Emperor Nero in the first century, St. Photini and her family were called to denounce their faith in Christ. 

We wonder: When Nero gave orders to throw St. Photini down a well, did she remember in this moment the hot, dusty day in Samaria, or the cool waters of her baptism by the Apostles? Did he recognize the irony of abandoning her to the very wells of goodness she had been drawing from all of her adult life? 

Either way, St. Photini was martyred and found her eternal reward in the very same way she first found her resurrection life. She was martyred in the year 66 and is still remembered as Equal to the Apostles.

Holy Mother Photini, pray to God for us!


Kontakion (Tone 1) 

O Almighty Saviour, Who did pour forth water for the Hebrews from a solid rock:

You did come to the Land of Samaria, and addressed a woman,

whom You did attract to faith in You,

and she has now attained life in the heavens everlastingly.