Parallel to Jewish midrash, Christian midrash also filled in the empty spaces in the Biblical text. Thus Christian tradition answered the question: Who was the Samaritan woman whom Jesus met at the well of Jacob near Sichem?


photinaChristian tradition names the Samaritan woman Saint Photina – a name derived from the Greek word "phos" meaning "light". After the Samartian woman returned to God in a full conversion through the encounter with Jesus (see Gospel of Saint John, Chapter 4), she began to preach the Gospel. She is remembered by the church on March 20. According to tradition, Saint Photina and her children reached Rome at the end of her life. There this believing family (and especially the mother and her son Victor) helped the daughter of the Emperor Nero know Christ and become a Christian. The furious Emperor had the entire family arrested and his soldiers murdered them all. Saint Photina was thrown into a deep well and there she gave up her life to her Lord.