Paul and Thecla
The story of Paul and a virgin named
Thecla is found in a non-biblical account called the Acts of Paul. When Thecla
refused to marry her fiance because of Paul's preaching, Paul was
jailed and Thecla was brought to trial for breaking the Iconian law. Thecla refused to answer
the judge, but simply gazed earnestly at Paul. Thecla's mother condemned her
daughter, crying out, "Burn the lawless one! Burn her publicly so that other women
who have been taught by Paul may be filled with fear". The governor had Paul
scourged and escorted from the city, but Thecla he ordered to be burned. Thecla,
while making the sign of the cross, was laid upon a pyre. The fire roared but it
did not harm Thecla, "for God had compassion on her". A rain cloud came and put out the flames.
Thecla was released and she left immediately to find Paul.