Saint Lydia Philippisia
Date of celebration: 20/05
“Go to Macedonia, help us” (Acts 16:9), is the appeal of the Macedonian that the Apostle Paul saw in a vision while he was in Troas. He considers this voice as the voice of God and without delay decides to travel to the finest part of Europe, Macedonia. He takes with him his chosen partners, Timotheo, Silas and Loukas.
They landed in Neapolis, today’s Kavala, and from there they left for Philippi. Outside the city of Philippi and near the banks of the river Zygaktus is the place of prayer of the Jews. To the women gathered there, the Apostle Paul preaches, for the first time in Europe, the word of God.
The God-fearing women listen carefully and reverently to the words of the unknown Jew. But the one who is most excited of all is Lydia, the converted porphyropolis from Thyatira. An earthquake occurs inside her. Lydia’s heart was always restless. He could not worship gods and goddesses who raged among themselves. So he was led to the prayer garden of the Jews. She got to know the law of Israel and ignited in her a thirst for the search for the Messiah. And now he hears for the first time the Apostle Paul speaking about the Redeemer of the world. Lydia accepts the new teaching without any objection. She believes in Christ and states unequivocally that she too wants to become a Christian.
And the Apostle Paul completes his work. He baptizes Lydia in the gurgling waters of the river Zygaktos. The first Christian woman of Macedonia is naturalized in the Kingdom of Heaven. Now he is the first member of the first Church of Greece. Her heart overflows with feelings of gratitude to those who opened the eyes of her soul and asked to host them in her home. “And the women named Lydia, purple workers of the city of Thyatira, fearing God, heard, the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to those who spoke under Paul, as her house was not baptized, she begged, saying: cry out to me, they are faithful to the Lord, those who entered you stayed in my house, and trespassed on us.” (Acts 16,14-15).