Thecla lived next door to a home where Paul was preaching on the virtue of chastity. As a result of his preaching, she abandoned her wedding plans in order to follow him on his missions. Her fiancé, a rich and powerful man, went to the governor and had Paul thrown in prison. Thecla bribed an official and gained entrance to the prison where she visited Paul to learn more about the Gospel.
Thecla's mother had Paul expelled from prison, stoned and dragged out of the city leaving him for dead. (Acts 14:19) Determined to become Christian, Thecla baptized herself. The governor had her stripped and tied to a stake set ablaze, but a sudden hailstorm put out the fire. Reviled by family and friends, Thecla followed Paul to Antioch, where she was sentenced to be tortured and killed.
Queen Tryphaena of Thrace took her into protective custody. Thecla taught the queen all that she had learned from Paul. Tryphaena converted and was baptized by Thecla. In some accounts Thecla died a martyr in Thrace shortly after the conversion of Tryphaena. In others she lived on as a hermit and brought about many more conversions through her spiritual counsel and healing gifts.