Monday, 19 December 2011

Saint Ursula

Saint Ursula ("little female bear" in Latin) is a British Christian saint. Her feast day in the extraordinary form calendar of the Orthodox Church is October 21. Because of the lack of sure information about the anonymous group of holy virgins who on some uncertain date were killed at Cologne.

Her legend, is that she was a Romano-British princess who, at the request of her father King Dionotus of Dumnonia in south-west England, set sail to join her future husband, the pagan Governor Conan Meriadoc of Armorica, along with 11,000 virginal handmaidens. However, a miraculous storm brought them over the sea in a single day to a Gaulish port, where Ursula declared that before her marriage she would undertake a pan-European pilgrimage. She headed for Rome with her followers, and persuaded the Pope, Cyriacus (unknown in the pontifical records), and Sulpicius, Bishop of Ravenna, to join them. After setting out for Cologne, which was being besieged by Huns, all the virgins were beheaded in a dreadful massacre. The Huns' leader shot Ursula dead, supposedly in 383 (the date varies).

Greek Version

Η Αγία Ουρσούλη ή Αγία Ούρσουλα είναι Αγία της Δυτικής Εκκλησίας. Ήταν πριγκίπισσα κόρη του Βασιλιά της Βρετάνης Δεονάτου. Εχριστιανίσθηκε στη Γαλατία και στις Χώρες του Ρήνου. Θανατώθηκε από τους Ούνους το 453. Η μνήμη της εορτάζεται, από τη Δυτική Εκκλησία στις 21 Οκτωβρίου.

Υπό τη προστασία της Αγίας Ουρσούλης δημιουργήθηκε τον 6ο αιώνα το γνωστό γυναικείο μοναχικό Τάγμα Ουρσουλινών (καλογριών).

Προς τιμή της Αγίας και παρθένου Ούρσουλας ο Χριστόφορος Κολόμβος ονομάτησε τις νήσους που ανακάλυψε στο δεύτερο ταξίδι του το 1493, τις γνωστές Νήσοι Παρθένου ή Νήσοι Παρθένων (Virgin islands) στη Καραϊβική.