St. Yulithi & St. Kuriakose
Feast Day: July 15
The blessed Yulithi (Julietta) and her saintly son trampled the devil and all his wicked means under their feet and received the crowns of martyrdom. Yuliti, a beautiful rich woman and a good Christian, a descendent of the Asian kings, was born in Iconnium in Asia Minor where St.Paul and Barnabas founded the church. Yuliti spent most of her time in praying and helping the poor. Yuliti's only son Kuriakose (Cyricus) grew up in a spiritual atmosphere whose first spoken words were "I am a Christian". When Yuliti's husband passed away all on a sudden, she had to raise her son by herself. Dioceltian, the Roman emperor, started the worst Christian persecution when Kuriakose was only three years old.
Yuliti, in order to escape from persecution, fled to Selucia in Syria with two of her maids. As the situation there was also worse, they went to Tarsus, the birthplace of St. Paul. The Roman tetrarch in that city, Alexandros was also very cruel towards Christians. Yuliti was arrested and brought before Alexandros. Because Yuliti confessed that she is a Christian as against all warnings of Alexandros, the soldiers threw Yuliti on the ground after taking away young Kuriakose from her. Alexandros promised to release her if she forsook Jesus Christ to which she answered that even a child, like her son, would not budge. Alexandros asked Kuriakose: "Would you agree to worship the idols". Young Kuriakose replied: "Your idols are made by stone and wood; My real God is Jesus Christ". When Yuliti heard this, she filled with courage shouted: "I am a Christian; I worship the real God Jesus Christ who made heaven and earth". Then Kuriakose also started shouted "I am a Christian; I am a Christian".
Soldiers continued beating Yuliti and the ruler tried to play with the boy to attract his attention. The tetrarch got mad at the child as he was not falling into his trap and threw him to the ground. The young boy hit his head against one of the concrete steps and died instantly. When Yuliti saw this, she prayed: "Thank you my Lord because you considered Kuriakose worthy of receiving this glorious crown. I ask you now my Savior to take me also.....” On hearing this, the angered Roman emperor ordered her to be beheaded. Thus she was beheaded while she was repeatedly saying: " I am a Christian, I am a Christian". At night, her two maids took the bodies and hid them in a cave near Tarsus.
When Constantine, the first Roman emperor, came to power, he built a church where the Mother and the child were martyred. Parts of the relics of these two saints' are preserved in the Syrian St.Mary's Monastery in the valley of Nitron. There is also a historical church bearing their name in Tahta.