St Inna, St Pinna and St Rimma

Augustine Sokolovski

Today, on the second day of February, the Church honors the memory of the holy martyrs Inna, Pinna and Rimma. These saints suffered for preaching faith in Christ at a very early time.

Due to the similarity of the names of Inna and Rimma with popular Russian female names, their euphony, the Lord miraculously glorified the memory of His Saints in modern times. The Lord of the Scriptures is a God who works contrary. From the pages of Scripture and History, He teaches us to turn for good that which contradicts and opposes. So, in Soviet times, most parents simply did not know that the names Inna and Rimma, male, of Gothic origin, and they called their daughters these names.

According to very little surviving information, Inna, Pinna and Rimma were Goths by origin. At the beginning of our era, this ancient people declared itself in history and began its gradual advance, presumably from Scandinavia, towards the Roman Empire. Christianization of the Goths began in the 4th century.

Most likely, Inna and her retinue were itinerant preachers. Tradition says that they were converted to Christianity by the Apostle Andrew. Although their subsequent mission was an isolated incident, it was a success. Many converted to Christianity.

The local Gothic pagan ruler ordered to seize them and subjected them to torture to force them to renounce their faith. Having been refused, the pagans tied the saints to logs and drowned them in icy water.

In the cold, their bodies remained incorruptible, and after a while the wandering Christian bishop gave them to burial in a proper place. After quite a long time, the three martyrs appeared together in a vision to the Christians and indicated the place of their burial. This explains the celebration of their memory twice during the year in the ancient menologions:

1) February 2 - the day of martyrdom, orб as the first Christians called the days of the death of the saints, birthday.

2) July 3, six months later - the day of the translation of relics.

The Lord always glorifies His saints in a special way. Between saints who did not know each other, in different countries and times, there is sometimes an amazing commonality. This happens by the gift of grace. For grace is communication.

The confession of Christianity in solitude, in a completely pagan environment, makes Inna, Pinna and Rimma related to the ancient Russian martyrs John and Theodore. They were killed by a mob in Kyiv about ten years before the Baptism of Rus' under the then pagan Prince Vladimir. Recall that the Baptism of Rus' took place in 988.

The torment of cold and ice, death from frostbite makes Inna, Pinna and Rimma related to the great ancient saints - the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste. They were frozen in a lake in 320.

Like the biblical prophets, the Saints of God, by their deeds, by the very way of suffering, in the Holy Spirit, sometimes indicated how their brothers would suffer in the future (cf. Apoc. 6:11). So, on the way of the cross of dying through cold almost nearly two thousand years after Inna, Rimma and Pinna, a great multitude of New Martyrs of our Church were destined to suffer.