The Holy Martyrs Theodora the Virgin and Didymas the Soldier

Commemorated on May 27

      The Holy Martyrs Theodora the Virgin and Didymas the Soldier suffered for Christ during the persecution against Christians under the emperor Diocletian (284-305), in the city of Alexandria in either the year 303 or 304.
      The Virgin-Martyr Theodora, standing trial before the Alexandria governor Eustratios, bravely confessed herself a Christian. To the question of the governor as to why she had not married, the saint answered, that she had dedicated herself to God, and had resolved to remain a virgin for the Name of Christ. Eustratios gave orders to take the holy virgin to prison, giving her three days to make up her mind, and he threatened for further disobedience to have her taken off to an house of ill repute. Brought again to trial three days later, Saint Theodora as before remained resolute in her faith. Then they led her off to the house of ill repute, where dissolute youths began to argue which of them should be the first to go at her. At this moment the Christian Didymas in soldier's garb without hindrance entered the house of ill repute, where he chased out the frightened profligates and saved the holy virgin, having bestowed her his garb. Upon learning what had happened, Eustratios gave orders to interrogate Saint Didymas. Brought before the angry judge, Saint Didymas told how he had set free the holy virgin, and for this he was sentenced to death by execution. At the place of his execution appeared Saint Theodora, and turning to Saint Didymas, she said that she wanted to die together with him. The governor, having caught sight of the holy martyress, gave orders to execute them both. The first to bend the neck beneathe the sword was the holy Martyress Theodora, and after her was the holy Martyr Didymas. The bodies of the holy martyrs were then burnt.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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