PRAYER (traditional language)
Eternal God, who gives good gifts to all people and who dost grant the spirit of generosity: Give unto us, we pray thee, hearts that are always open to hear thy word, that following the example of thy servant Lydia, we may show hospitality to all who are in any need or trouble, through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
PRAYER (contemporary language)
This commemoration appears in Lesser Feasts & Fasts 2018.
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Last updated: 23 March 2019
LYDIA OF THYATIRA
Lydia of Thyatira (Greek: Λυδία) is a woman mentioned in the New Testament who is regarded as the first documented convert to Christianity in Europe. Several Christian denominations have designated her a saint.
The only reference to her is in Acts 16:13-15 (NRSV):
On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. A certain woman named Lydia, a worshipper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.’ And she prevailed upon us.
Lydia was most likely a Greek Macedonian even though she lived in a Roman settlement. She was evidently a well-to-do agent of a purple-dye firm in Thyatira, a city southeast of Pergamum and approximately 40 miles inland, across the Aegean Sea from Athens. Lydia insisted on giving hospitality to Apostle Paul and his companions in Philippi. They stayed with her until their departure, through Amphipolis and Apollonia, to Thessalonica (Acts 16:40-17:1).
Because these encounters and events take place “in what is now Europe,” Lydia is considered “the first ‘European’ Christian convert
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