Svetlana | Photini

● Orthodox Remembrance Day: February 26, March 20, August 20
● Name means: the Enlightened One (Greek)
● Confessor
● Died around 50 in Sychar – near today’s Balata, Palestine
According to the testimony of the Gospel of John (4:5 – 30, 39-41), Jesus met this woman at the
well in front of the city of Sychar – at today’s Balata – where he rested from the strenuous hike
while the woman fetched water. He spoke to her even though she was a woman and even
though she belonged to the group of Samaritans shunned by the Jews. In the course of the
conversation, she made a confession to him as the Messiah sent by God, making her the first
person to recognize the Christ in Jesus. As with the other pious women mentioned in the
Gospels, the legend also tells of the now called Photini that she later preached in various places,
namely in Carthage – today’s suburb of Tunis in Tunisia. She died together with her two sons
Joseph and Victor, the captain Sebastian as well as Anatolius (Anatolia) and Photius (Photides),
her sisters Photis, Parasceva and Cyriaca in the persecution under Emperor Nero in Rome.
Jerome first mentioned a church above the fountain in Sychar – near today’s Balata – the
Crusaders built a basilica there, a new building was discontinued in 1913. Photini’s head relic is
venerated in the church of San Paolo fuori le Mura in Rome.