Virgin Martyr Theodora and Martyr Didymus the Soldier, of Alexandria

The Holy Martyrs Theodora the Virgin and Didymus 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 prefect Eustratius of Alexandria, bravely confessed herself a Christian. When the prefect asked why she had not married, the saint replied that she had dedicated herself to God, and had resolved to remain a virgin for the name of Christ.

Eustratius ordered the holy virgin to be taken to prison, giving her three days to make up her mind, and he threatened to have her taken to a brothel if she persisted in her disobedience. Brought again to trial three days later, Saint Theodora remained as resolute in her faith as before.

The saint was taken to the brothel, where dissolute youths began to argue which of them should be the first to have her. At this moment the Christian Didymus, dressed in soldier’s garb, entered the brothel without hindrance. He chased the frightened profligates out and saved the holy virgin, giving her his clothes so she could escape.

Upon learning what had happened, Eustratius interrogated Saint Didymus. Brought before the angry judge, Saint Didymus told how he had set the holy virgin free, and for this he was sentenced to death. Saint Theodora appeared at the place of execution, and said that she wanted to die with Saint Didymus. The prefect gave orders to execute both of them . The first to bend the neck beneath the sword was the holy martyr Theodora, and then the holy Martyr Didymus. The bodies of the martyrs were then burned.