Some Christian Communities have named the woman at the well, “St. Photine” and others call her, “St. Svetlana.” Both names mean, “Bearer of Light.” Another story claims that she was martyred under the Emperor Nero. She supposedly spat in his face when he subjected her to torture and demanded that she sacrifice to idols. While there is no historical evidence to validate any of these stories, they do highlight the fact that she was one of Christ’s first evangelists.
Although the Gospel text does not say this, scholars believe that she spent much of her life enslaved as a concubine. The strictness of the ancients codes of marriage make it unlikely that she was married five times. A concubine was freed from her slavery when her master stopped providing food, clothing and marital rights. Much of what is said of the Samaritan woman fits this image. At this point in her life, it seems that she has won her freedom.