St. Theodora, Virginmartyr, of Alexandria


Commemorated on May 27

The Holy Martyrs Theodora the Virgin and Didymus the Soldier suffered for Christ during the persecution against Christians under Emperor Diocletian in Alexandria in either 303 or 304.

St. Theodora, standing trial before the prefect Eustratius of Alexandria, bravely confessed herself a Christian. When he asked why she had not married, the saint replied that she had dedicated herself to God, and had resolved to remain a virgin for the name of Christ.

Eustratius ordered the holy virgin to be taken to prison, giving her three days to renounce Christ, and he threatened to have her taken to a brothel if she persisted. Brought again to trial three days later, St. Theodora remained as resolute in her faith as before.

She was taken to a brothel, where the young men argued over which of them should be the first to have her. However, Didymus, dressed in soldier’s garb, entered and chased the frightened men out. He gave the holy virgin his clothes so she could escape.

Upon learning what had happened, Eustratius had Didymus arrested and interrogated. Brought before the angry judge, St. Didymus told how he had set the holy virgin free, and for this he was sentenced to death. St. Theodora appeared at the place of execution, and said that she wanted to die with him. The prefect gave orders to execute both of them. The first to bend the neck beneath the sword was the holy martyr Theodora, and then the holy Martyr Didymus. The bodies of the martyrs were then burned.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)