|Died||early 4th century|
|Venerated in||Eastern Orthodox Church, Roman Catholic Church|
Pelagia of Tarsus (d. early 4th century) is a saint and martyr who lived in Tarsus in the Cilicia region of Asia Minor during the reign of Roman Emperor Diocletian. . She is likely based on Saint Pelagia of Antioch.
According to tradition, Diocletian's son, the heir to the throne, fell in love with her and wanted to marry Pelagia. She replied that she could not, because she had sworn to preserve her virginity and was wedded to Christ. In his sorrow, Diocletian's son killed himself. Pelagia was sent to Rome by her pagan mother, where Diocletian asked her to become his wife. She refused, calling the emperor insane and she was burnt to death, and her flesh melted and smells of myrrh pervaded throughout Rome.
The pagans sent four lions to surround her bones, but instead they protected her bones from vultures and crows until a Christian bishop could recover them. Constantine the Great built a church on the site of her remains.
- ↑ Orthodox Church of America. Retrieved 02/07/2010.
- ↑ Saint Pelagia of Tarsus. Retrieved 02/07/2010.
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