She was a Roman saint martyr, and in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine she is the patron saint of the entire student body. Her feast day, celebrated in the Russian Orthodox Church on 25 January, is also the day of celebration for students of educational institutions across the region. To some degree, it was coincidental: the Russian empress Elizaveta happened to sign a decree establishing Moscow State University on 25 January 1755, and a chapel dedicated to Saint Tatiana was opened in its territory. However, for a Christian, having a patron saint means having a prayerful relationship with them, which also means emulating their virtues and spiritual accomplishments.
Saint Tatiana of Rome lived in third-century Rome during the reign of Emperor Severus Alexander. She was the daughter of a senior Roman civil servant, who was a secret Christian and raised her daughter in the faith. Although he took every precaution not to reveal himself or endanger any members of his family, his colleague had been watching and noticed his daughter practice the Christian faith. He seized her, put her into prison and tried to force her to offer a sacrifice to Apollo. She said a prayer to Christ, and according to legend, the statue of Apollo crumbled as she prayed. When she finished praying, an earthquake started that destroyed a portion of Apollo's temple.
Furious, her captors had her blinded and tortured before putting her to death. They threw her in a den with hungry lions to be devoured. But the lions lay at her feet and did not do her any harm. She was thrown into a fire, emerged unhurt. They had a sorceress cut her hair and left her for the night at the temple of Zeus. They planned to sacrifice her to Zeus n the morning, but they found her praying to Christ and the head of the pagan God lying at her feet. She died by beheading, her exceptional courage, steadfastness and dedication in her practice of the faith, and by doing helped many Pagans find Christ and strengthened scores of believers in the faith.
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