Written by Marina Tawadrous ~The lives of Saints Atrasis and Youana are very influential. They impacted the lives of many other saints, one of which was Saint Marina the Martyr.
Atrasis was born to the pagan emperor Hadrian. Because he loved her so much, he built a special, small room for her to be away from everyone. As she lived by herself, she always contemplated about the world and why life is this way. Atrasis asked for guidance, so one night she saw a vision of a person who told her to “bring Yoana, the virgin, the daughter of Philospheron, and she will teach you the way of the Lord." Atrasis was overjoyed and sent for Yoana right away.
Yoana began to talk to Atrasis about the Bible and salvation. Yoana also told Atrasis of what true Christians will receive, which is eternal life in the presence of Christ. She was exceedingly happy with what she heard and lived her life according to the Lord’s teachings in fellowship with Yoana.
In a dream, they both saw the Lord Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, His Mother, and He blessed them.
By that time, Atrasis’ father had come back from war and intended Atrasis to marry. He wanted her to offer incense to the idols before the wedding. She told him: "Father, how could you forsake the God of heaven and earth and worship defiled idols? Turn, O my father, turn to the God Who created you and in Whose hand is your life and death."
Her father was furious and wondered who corrupted her mind, and was told that it was Yoana. He ordered for them to be burned in the city. The people lamented these two youth and asked them to obey the emperor’s wishes by offering incense to the idols, but Atrasis and Yoana were firm in their decision. As people were digging the pit and lighting up the fire, the two saints held each other’s hands. They stood in the fire and prayed to God. After their martyrdom, some of the believers took their bodies away and found their bodies attached to each other. They hid the bodies of the Saints Atrasis and Yoana until the persecution era ended and a great church was built in their name. They are commemorated on the 18th day of the Coptic month, Hator.
May God grant us the strength, will, and power to be strong in our faith and to grow in fellowship with one another like the Saints Atrasis and Yoana.
"Lives of Saints: Hator 18." CopticChurch.Net - Coptic Orthodox Church Network. St. Mark Coptic Church, Jersey City, NJ. Web. 16 Aug. 2011.