Saint Glykeria was a young woman born around 156 C.E. to a senatorial family. She lived in the city of Trajanopolis on the coast of the Adriatic sea. When she became Christian is uncertain, although she must have been converted at some point since her family was pagan. Her story comes in two major versions.

Version 1: She kept her Christianity secret from her family for a long time until in 177 C.E. they compelled her to go with them to a pagan festival held at the local temple. While there, she apparently became visibly ill at the sight of the Romans bowing to statuary and her father noticed her discomfort and asked if she might not need to go home. Instead, she responded by going straight up to the fellow in charge of the festival, a prefect named Sabinius, and telling him that the statue of Zeus to which he was bowing was nothing more than a piece of stone and had no divine connection whatsoever. At first, he tried to wave her off, thinking that she was either drunk or insane. She ignored him, though, and stretched her arms out to the statue while praying in the name of Jesus that he show his power and assert the omnipotence of God. God apparently heard her prayers, since the statue was immediately destroyed in an earthquake. While everyone else in the temple was reacting to the earthquake and the shattering of their deity, she reportedly said: "Is this the hope of all Romans? Let it be known that the hope for Romans and all mankind is Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, who for our salvation was crucified on the cross in Jerusalem and whose blood shall redeem us all. Our strength is in him, not in this pile of rubble." When the ruckus died down, Sabinius quickly proclaimed her a sorceress and had her executed.

Version 2: Glykeria's Christianity was known at least to her father, who kept it secret using his senatorial influence. When he died she moved to Trajanopolis, where the governor of the region (presumably although not explicitly Sabinius) compelled her to offer sacrifices to Zeus at the temple. While in front of the statue she made the sign of the cross, which in this version of the story is sufficient to bring the statue to the ground. The Romans were quite unhappy at the shattering of their god, so they tried to stone her, but all of the stones missed. They then suspended her from her hair, cut her, and locked her in prison for such a long time that she would have had to starve. When the prison was opened, though, the governor found containers of milk, bread, and water, presumably brought by an angel. Then they threw her into a furnace to kill her and when that didn't work, they cut her scalp to torture her. When an angel healed the cut on her scalp, it converted her guard, who was promptly executed himself. They threw her to the lions finally, whereupon she surrendered her soul and was killed. It is said that miraculous myrrh and other perfumes that had healing qualities flowed from her relics after her death.

In both versions, Glykeria is said to have died on May 17, 177 C.E. Her grave reportedly gave off a sweet scent, although whether that is related to her name (which means sweetness) is uncertain.