9 of November
St. Matrona of Perge was a historical figure who lived in the late fifth and early sixth century. She was an abbess in Constantinople, but is also notable as an example of a Byzantine female saint who also fitted the trope of a woman living in male clothing. She was also a female saint who was not a virgin, having been married and having had a daughter. Needless to say, the issue of gender is central to the Life, both in accounts of Matrona and of her companions.
The texts below present two version of her life. The one given first is the later redaction made by Symeon Metaphrastes in the tenth century. Extracts from the older vita prima are given later. It is usual to regard the first life of a saint as more authentic, but it is worth noting that in the later cult of saints the Metaphrastic version was the one that dominated. In this case, for instance, we have one tenth century manuscript [Par. Gr. 1519], while there are over 700 surviving manuscripts of the Metaphrastic collection! The "Saints Matrona" of the later Byzantine cult was the figure in the later life.
For a complete translation of the Vita Prima, as well as a short, but informative, introduction by Cyril Mango, see Alice-Mary Talbot, ed., Holy Women of Byzantium: Ten Saints Lives in English Translation,, (Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1996), 13-64
Matrona s feast day is November 9, [although some synaxaria have celebrate her on Nov 7 and Nov 8]
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