St Rhipseme, Gaiana, and their companions ,
Virgins and Martyrs  c.A.D. 312
having made up his mind to marry, sent a painter around Rome to paint the portraits
of all those ladies who seemed to him eligible, and he did his work with such
thoroughness that he penetrated into the house of Gaiana and made likeness of
some of her Christian maidens. When Diocletian examined the portraits his choice
fell on Rhipsime, and she was informed of the honour that had befallen her. It was
not at all to her liking, and Gaiana was so afraid of what the emperor might do that
she summoned her charges at once from Rome, went aboard ship, and proceded to
Alexandria. From thence they made their way through the Holy Land to Armenia,
where they settled down at the royal capital, Varlashapat, and earned their living by
weaving. The great beauty of Rhipsime soon attracted attention, but the noise of it
apparently reached back to Rome before it came to the ears of King Tiridates, for
Diocletian wrote asking him to kill Gaiana and Rhipsime back – unless he would like
to keep her for himself. Tiridates therupon sent a deputation to fetch her to his
palace with great magnificence, but when it arrived at the convent Rhipsime prayed
for deliverance, and so fierce a thunderstorm at once broke out that the horses of
courtiers and their riders were scattered in confusion. When Tiridates heard this and
that the girl refused to come he ordered her to be brought by force, and that the girl
refused to come he ordered her to be brought by force, and when she was led into
his presence he was so attracted by her beauty that he at once tried to embrace her.
Rhipsime not only resisted but threw the king ignominiously to the floor, so that in a
rage he ordered her to prison. But she escaped and returrned to her companions
during the night.
At morning when they found her gone the king sent soldiers afer her with orders that
she was to die, and all the other maidens with her. St Rhipsime was roasted alive
and torn limb from limb, and St Gaiana and the others to the others to the number
of thirty-five likewise were brutally slain. St Maria,me was drragged to death from a
bed of sickenss, but one, St Nino, escaped and became the apostle of Gorgia in the
Caucasus. This massacre took place on October 5, on which date the martyrs are
named the Armenian menology. A week later retribution overtook the brutal Tiridates
who, as he was setting out to hunt, was turned into a wild boar. He was brought
back to nature by St Gregory the Enlightener, who had been confined in a pit for
fifteen years. Theses martyrs figured in the fabulous visioin of St Gregory at
Etshmiadzin, and around the great church there are three smaller churches on the
alleged site of the martyrdom of St Rhipsime, of St Gaiana and of the others.  
[1] Butler's Lives of the Saints
protomartyrs of the Armenian church, are date
as suffering under King Tiridates, nothing at all
is known of their history or the circumstances of
their passion. They are referred to in the legend
of St Gregory the Enlightener, and may have
been put to death during the persecution which
preceded the baptism of Tiridates and his family
by Gregory, but more likely later : their acta is a
romance of the most barefaced kind.
These legends tell us that Rhipsime (Hrip'sime)
was a maiden of noble birth, one of a
community of consecrated virgins at Rome
presided over by Gaiana. The Emperor Dioceltian,
Lives of the Saints