Today is St Photina's Day. Who, you might ask, is St Photina? Little known in the Western church, she is said to be, according to the Orthodox church, the woman who met Jesus at the well in John 4.
If you ever read the stories of Jesus in the Gospels, you might often be left wondering about what happened next?
When Jesus arrived at Photina's well, he was thirsty. He asked her for a drink. And out of that request came a most profound life-changing experience. 'Come and meet the man who told me everything I had ever done,' she tells all her neighbours and relatives.
What happened next? She becomes a courageous teller of her story.
Her story-telling courage led her to leave her home town (modern Nablus, in the West Bank) and all the way to Carthage, in Tunisia. There she came to the notice of the Roman authorities. She was eventually taken prisoner and taken to Rome, where, in AD64, she was martyred for her faith by Nero. Her way of life - which sprang from that encounter with a thirsty Jesus at the well - led to her death. Her death was by being thrown into a well.
The picture above is an Eastern orthodox icon. The cross-shaped well reflects the costliness of her life bound with the costly life-giving death of Jesus.
I wonder, how many other unnamed women and men of the bible have stories that are known by our wise brothers and sisters from the Eastern church? Perhaps you would like to look for them!!