保祿及聖女德克拉的故事 (Tale of Saint Thecla)

(中文:整理自李子忠稿、English: cited from Wikipedia)

按二世紀偽經《保祿及德克拉大事錄》(Acts of Paul and Thecla)記載,保祿常派弟鐸(Titus)在要到的地方預告自己的來臨。當他到依科尼雍時也照樣派弟鐸先行前往。弟鐸告訴當地的弟兄敖乃息佛洛(Onesiphorus)保祿快將到來,並給他描繪保祿樣貌,敖乃息佛洛遂走到城外大路上迎接保祿。







According to the Acts of Paul and Thecla, Thecla (St. Taqla) was a young noble virgin who listened to Paul's "discourse on virginity" and became Paul's follower. Thecla's mother, and fiancé, Thamyris, became concerned that Thecla would follow Paul's demand "that one must fear only one God and live in chastity", and punished both Paul and Thecla. She was miraculously saved by a storm from being burned at the stake, and traveled with Paul to Pisidian Antioch.

There a nobleman named Alexander desired Thecla and attempted to take her by force. Thecla fought him off, assaulting him in the process, and was put on trial for assaulting a nobleman. She was sentenced to be eaten by wild beasts, but was again saved by a series of miracles when the female beasts protected her against her male aggressors. No other early account of Thecla exists.

In the Eastern Church, the wide circulation of the Acts of Paul and Thecla is evidence of her veneration. She was called "Apostle and protomartyr among women" and even "equal to the apostles." She was widely cited as an ascetic role model for women. Her cult flourished particularly at Seleucia (where she was said to be buried), Iconium (present day Konya), and Nicomedia. The cult also appeared, at least as early as the fourth century, in Western Europe. In Bede's martyrology, Thecla is celebrated on the September 23, which is still her feast day in the Roman Catholic Church. The Eastern Orthodox Churches commemorate her on September 24.

A local martyr legend, of Tecla, may have inspired this episode, in which she was connected to Paul of Tarsus. "It is otherwise difficult to account for the very great popularity of the cult of St. Thecla, which spread over East and West, and made her the most famous of virgin martyrs," wrote M.R. James, the editor of this Acta, (James 1924).

In Maalula, Syria, there is a monastery of St. Thecla, built near what is said to be her cave. Santa Tecla is the patron saint of Tarragona, Spain, where her feast day is the major fiesta of the city and the cathedral is dedicated to her. In Spain, she is sometimes facetiously referred to as the patron saint of computers (tecla means "key" on a keyboard in Catalan and Spanish).

There are three Roman Catholic parishes named for Saint Thecla placed in Clinton Township, Michigan, Pembroke, Massachusetts, and Chicago, Illinois. The village of Llandegla in North Wales is also named after her.