- Orthodox Remembrance Day: June 6 and June 7
- Nun, Martyr
- Died on June 6, 346 in Caesarea, Palestine
According to ancient traditions, Martha, Maria, Cyria (Cyriaca), Valeria, and Marcia met a tragic fate as they were beheaded by the sword during the reign of King Shapur II of Persia.
However, there is a discrepancy regarding the location of their martyrdom, as Caesarea does not align with the timeline of King Shapur’s rule, as his dominion did not extend that far. Another tradition suggests that their martyrdom occurred during the period between 284 and 305, a time marked by the persecution of Christians under the reign of Emperor Diocletian and Galerius.
The Acta Sanctorum, a collection of accounts on saints, not only includes Mary and Martha but also venerates three additional virgins as martyrs in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul). These accounts introduce Eusebia, Susanna, and Zenais to the group of five holy women. Notably, Zenais is attributed with the title “Thaumaturga,” denoting her as a miracle worker.
As the tales of their martyrdom and miracles were passed down through generations, these women have been honored and venerated for their unwavering faith and courage. Their legacy continues to inspire devotion among believers, highlighting the endurance and resilience of early Christian communities during times of persecution.