It is celebrated on May 5 each year.
The Holy Great Martyr Irini worked during the 4th century AD. She was the daughter of Licinius, who was king of a small kingdom, and of Licinia. She came from the city of Magedon and was originally called Penelope. When the Saint was six years old, her father Licinius shut her up in a tower and entrusted her education to an old man named Apellianus, who wrote the memoirs of her martyrdom.
One night Irene saw the following vision: a dove entered the tower holding an olive branch in its beak, which it left on the table. Also, an eagle entered carrying a wreath of flowers, which he also placed on the table. Then a crow came in through another window, and put a snake on the table. The morning he woke up, he wondered and wondered what the things he saw could mean. So she narrated them to the elder Apellianos and he interpreted them as a harbinger of the crowns of glory and her martyrdom after her baptism.
She was attracted to Christianity by some crypto-Christian novice, who, because of her honesty and virtues, was highly esteemed by Penelope’s parents and had been appointed by them as their daughter’s healer. A priest named Timotheus secretly baptized the young ruler and renamed her Irene.
The fact did not take long for her father Likinios to be informed, when in fact Saint Irene crushed the idols of her father’s house, thus confessing her faith in Christ. For this reason he ordered her to be tied to the legs of a wild horse, to be kicked to death. But miraculously the horse turned on him and killed him. Then there was great confusion among the people present. But Irene reassured them with the words of Christ: “All things are possible for those who believe” (Mark 8:23). That is, all things are possible to him who believes. And indeed, with wondrous faith she prayed, and her father rose alive. Then, family members were all baptized Christians. Then he suffered a lot from the Persians and their kings Zedekiah and Saporius I.
Then Saint Irene went to Gallipolis in the Hellespont, where Numeriano reigned. There she presented herself to him and boldly confessed her faith in Christ. The pagans shut her in succession on three red-hot bronze oxen. But the third ox, at the moment when the Great Martyr was inside it, surprisingly moved, even though it was an inanimate human construct. Then it was torn and the Saint came out of it completely unscathed from the fiery hell. This event resulted in thousands of souls coming to the faith of Christ. In the city of Mesimvria in Thrace, Saint Irene was killed, but by the power of God she was resurrected and attracted the commander and the entire people to faith. Finally, the Saint fled with her teacher Apellianos to Ephesus in Asia Minor, where she stayed performing many miracles and being honored as a true missionary. There he developed great activity until the day of his sleep, in 315 AD.
In her Synaxari it is mentioned that in Ephesus the Saint found an urn, in which no one had been buried until then, entered it and slept in peace. And before she fell asleep, Saint Irene had ordered that no one move the tombstone, with which her teacher Apellianos would cover the altar, before four days had passed. But after two days the tomb was visited by Apellianus and the others, who saw that the tombstone had been lifted and the urn was empty.
According to the Western Martyrologies, Agia Irini was martyred in Thessaloniki, after being thrown into the pyre, while according to the Minologion of Emperor Basil II, Agia Irini ended her martyrdom by beheading.