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The Holy Martyress Thomaida

Com­mem­o­rat­ed on April 13

holy-martyress-thomaidaThe 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.

Divine chas­tise­ment 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 before God”.

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.