Very little has come down to us of the life and death of Saint Martyr Raisa (or Iraida). We know that she was a daughter of a presbyter and suffered for the Christian faith under the Emperor Maxentius (305-312). She lived in Alexandria and was a nun at the local cloister. Once she saw a ship loaded with convicts — men, women, clergy and monks. They had been arrested for being Christians. Nobody knew where they were being taken. When Venerable Raisa visited the imprisoned Christians she was put in fetters too. Then the ship reached Antinoia in Egypt, where the imprisoned were tortured and executed. Saint Raisa shared their fate. She was beheaded in the year 308.
O Jesus! Thy lamb Raisa is calling out in a loud voice: "I love Thee, my bridegroom, seeking Thee I suffer and join Thee in Thy crucifixion and burial to be blessed by you. I am tormented for Thee as I reign in Thy name, and I am dying for Thee as I live with Thee; accept me as a virgin sacrifice made with love to Thee. Through prayers, as Thou art merciful, save our souls.
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