The Holy Empress Alexandra

Commemorated on April 23

      The Holy Empress Alexandra: her supposed death was described in the Martyrdom Act of Saint George, which was compiled immediately after his death. The empress, however, was vouchsafed the crown of martyrdom some several years later, in the year 314.
      During these years occurred many events. In the year 305 the emperor Diocletian resigned the throne and power passed to his co-ruler Maximian Galerius (305-311), a fanatic pagan, and a coarse and fierce soldier. His wife was the daughter of the holy Empress Alexandra the holy Martyress Valeria, whom Diocletian had given in marriage against her will back during the years of his reign. Saint Alexandra raised her daughter in Christian piety. When Galerius died, the emperor Maximinus sought her hand in marriage. Having received a refusal, he banished Saint Valeria to Syria, where she lived with her mother. After the death of Maximinus in 313 the mother and daughter arrived in Nicomedia, hoping on the mercy of the emperor Licinius (313-324). Together with the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Constantine, he had subscribed to the Edict of Milan, which presented Christians the freedom to confess their faith, but secretly he remained an enemy of Christianity. Licinius gave orders to execute the holy Empress Alexandra and her daughter Valeria. They were beheaded, and their bodies thrown into the sea.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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