Bulgaria: St. Zlata



  1. Children should be able to tell the story of St. Zlata..

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.


  1. Tell the story of St. Zlata:

Zlata lived in the village of Slatina in the country of Bulgaria. She was very poor, but loved Jesus with her whole heart. She was also beautiful and kind. All the village loved Zlata.

In those days, the Moslem Turks ruled Bulgaria. They hated all Christians. Remember the Romans? One day, a Turk saw Zlata as she was gathering firewood for her family. He decided he wanted her for his wife and captured her. He took her to his home. There he decided she must first become a Moslem before he could marry her. But Zlata would not deny Jesus Christ her Lord.

The Turk promised Zlata riches and slaves to do her work for her. But, she would not deny Christ. She told him that she was waiting for the mansion in heaven Jesus promised. Then the Turk threatened her with terrible tortures, but she told him she was not afraid to suffer for Jesus. Then he had her live for six months with his Turkish women; they tried to trick her into denying Jesus and even tried magic. But nothing would get Zlata to deny Jesus. The Turk then went to her family and told them they would all be killed if she did not become a Moslem. They tried to get Zlata to at least pretend to be a Moslem, but she told them that she would not lie to God.

The evil Turk was beaten. He tortured Zlata, but all she did was pray. The Turk was furious. He hung her in a tree and cut her into pieces. So St. Zlata became a martyr and went home to heaven with her beloved Jesus.


  1. True/False Questions:

True                                                     False

            Zlata was from Bulgaria.                                Zlata was from Constantinople.

            Zlata was captured by the Turks.                    Zlata was captured by the Egyptians.

            Zlata would not deny Jesus.                           Zlata pretended to be a Moslem.


  1. Review the definition of “martyr”. What other martyrs can the students name? We often think of martyrs as living (and dying) in the first couple of centuries of Christianity, but Zlata only about 200 years ago. Are there countries today where people are tortured and killed for being a Christian? We are free to worship the Lord in this country. How thankful we should be for this privilege. What would you do if it were illegal to go to Church? Would you be willing to be thrown in prison?


  1. Make St. Zlata’s tree: Take a piece of wax paper. Cut leaves of several shades of green tissue paper (or press some real leaves from outdoors) and a trunk from brown tissue paper. Cut out St. Zlata and color her. Arrange the icon and the trunk and scattered leaves on the wax paper. Cover with another piece of wax paper and iron with a low iron setting. Be sure there is some space around the edges and between some of the leaves (there can be some overlap).


Close with prayer: Lord, give me as much love for You as had St. Zlata.