Thecla was a beautiful young pagan noblewoman who lived in the first century. She was from the city of Iconium, in Turkey. She read many philosophy books, yet nothing satisfied her desire to know about her Creator. When St. Paul the apostle came to preach the Gospel of Jesus in Iconium, Thecla's prayer to know the one, true God was answered. From St. Paul she also learned that a young woman can become the bride of Christ if she gives up marriage. By this time, Thecla desired nothing else than to give herself entirely to God.
Thecla's pagan parents tried their best to make her give up her Christian faith, but she would not. Her fiancé, Thamyris, begged her not to break their engagement. However, Thecla had made up her mind. She wanted to be Christ's bride, not his. At last, in great anger, Thamyris accused her to the judge. When she still refused to give up her love for Jesus, she was ordered to be burned to death. The beautiful young woman bravely prepared to die. However, it is said that no sooner had the fire been lit than a storm from heaven put it out. Later, she was condemned to be eaten by lions. Once again, however, God saved Thecla's life. Instead of clawing her, the fierce beasts walked gently up to her, lay down at her side, and licked her feet, like pet kittens. At last, in fear, the judge set Thecla free. She went to live in a cave where she spent the rest of her long life. She prayed and taught the people who came to visit her about the Lord Jesus.
For Thecla, it took great courage to follow her vocation and the call of Jesus. How am I challenged in living out my own call?