Commemorated on April 13
The Holy Martyress
Thomaida was born into a Christian family in the city of Alexandria. In her
childhood she was educated in piety and loved to read Holy Scripture.
At 15 years of age
the girl entered into marriage with a fisherman, – also a Christian. The young
couple lived in the household of the husband's family, where Saint Thomaida was
loved for her mild and gentle disposition, and virtue and prudence.
The father-in-law of
Saint Thomaida, at the prompting of the devil, was captivated by her beauty.
When his son went out at night for fishing, he began seeking to lead his
daughter-in-law into sin. In vain did Saint Thomaida admonish the senseless old
man, reminding him about the last Judgement and about the penalty for sin.
Infuriated by the steadfastness of Saint Thomaida, he thoughtlessly seized a
sword and began to threaten her with death. But Saint Thomaida answered
resolutely: "Even if thou cut me in two, I shall not stray from the
commandments of the Lord". Overcome with passion, the father-in-law swung
the sword and struck Saint Thomaida. The saint received a martyr's death for
her prudence and faith in the commandments of God in the year 476.
befell the murderer. He instantly became blinded and was not able to go out the
door to flee. In the morning there arrived companions of the saint's husband.
They opened the doors and saw the body of the saint and the blood-stained blind
old man. The murderer himself confessed his evil deed and asked to be condemned
to death by execution.
During this time
there arrived in Alexandria from a wilderness skete the Monk Daniel. He bid the
monks of the nearby Oktodecadia monastery to take the body of the martyress to
bury in the monastery cemetery. Some of the monks were perplexed, how it should
be possible to bury a woman with monks. The monk Daniel answered: "This
girl – is a mother for me and you. She died for purity".
After a solemn
funeral the Monk Daniel returned to his own skete. Soon one of the young monks
began to complain to him, that fleshly passions tormented him. The monk Daniel
ordered him to go and pray at the grave of the holy martyress Thomaida. The
monk did the bidding of the elder. During the time of prayer at the grave he
fell into a light sleep. Saint Thomaida then appeared to him and said:
"Father, have my blessing and go in peace".
Having awakened, the
monk felt at joy and peace in his soul. And after this the fleshly struggle no
longer disturbed him. Abba Daniel explained to him: "The blessing – was
the gift of the martyress' prudence; the ascetic deeds of purity hold such power
In later times many
found at the grave of Saint Thomaida both spiritual joy and release from their
passions. The relics of Saint Thomaida were transferred to Constantinople to
one of the women's monasteries. In the year 1420 the Russian pilgrim archdeacon
Zosima viewed them.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.