Saint Athanasia and her husband Andronicus of Egypt lived in Antioch in the fifth century. When the Lord took the son and daughter of Andronicus and Athanasia, the pious couple decided to devote themselves fully to the service of God, helping the poor and the sick. Soon the holy couple traveled to Alexandria, where Andronicus entered a skete monastery, and Athanasia entered the women’s Tabennisiota monastery.
After twelve years of ascetic life Saint Andronicus went to Jerusalem to pray at the holy places. He met a co-pilgrim, Saint Athanasia, who, foreseeing the difficulties of the journey, had donned men’s attire. They did not recognize each other, since long ascetic effort had altered their appearance. When they returned from Jerusalem, both monks settled into a single cell and for many years lived the ascetic life in silence. Saint Athanasia wrote a note to be read after her death, revealing her secret.. Saint Andronicus died soon after Saint Athanasia.