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St. Philothea was born in the Bulgarian capital of Trnovo. Her mother died when she was still young, and her father remarried. One of St. Philothea's tasks was to bring her father his food as he worked in the fields. Each day, she would give some of it to poor children. When her father found out, he became enraged and struck her with an axe. Although he was immediately repentant, his daughter died from the wound.
Her father was unable to move her body, so he confessed his sin and begged assistance from the Archbishop of Trnovo. The archbishop and his priests were likewise unable to move the body. Realizing the martyr did not want to remain in her native country, the archbishop began listing monasteries and churches. When he reached the name of the Monastery of Curtea de Argeş, St. Philothea's body became light. Her relics were taken by clerical procession to that monastery, where they remain today, effecting miraculous cures.