15 July – Yolita and her son Kyriakos, Martyrs

Yolita and her son Kyriakos are otherwise known as St. Quiriacus and Julitta. They are considered early Christian martyrs who died in the year 304 AD.

Yolita lived in modern day Turkey and it was said that she lived her life in prayer and charity. Shortly after the birth of her son, her husband died suddenly and she was left as a widow.

When Kyriakos turned 3, persecutions began against the Christians by the Emperor Diocletian. Yolita took her son and fled to Syria where it was just as bad. She picked up and left again to Tarsus.

The governor there, Alexandros was cruel. Yolita tried to keep a low profile but both her and her son were arrested and brought before him.

He tortured Yolita before her son. The governor ordered Yolita to bow down to their idols to secure their release. Yolita said that not even her son would offer a sacrifice to their idols. The governor turned to Kyriakos who told him that he was a Christian.

Kyriakos was beaten to death at just 3 years old.

Yolita was filled with courage and did not weep at her sons death, but was joyful that he received the crown of martyrdom.

She was later executed, both of their bodies thrown into a heap of corpses. The bodies were rescued by two maids and hidden in a cave in Tarsus.

When Emperor Constantine came into power, he built a church where they were martyred.

Today, their relics are at Nevers, France and in the monastery of Saint-Amand, Tournai. People pray to them for happy families and for sick children to get better.

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