Holy Martyr Alexandra the Empress (Commemorated 21st April)


Alexandra was the wife of Roman Emperor Diocletian, who mercilessly persecuted Christians in the late third and early 4th century AD. She witnessed the martyrdom of Saint George and was one of many who converted upon seeing how perseveringly the Saint withstood his many tortures. Not only did the pagan masses see this Christian man approach Emperor Diocletian determined to make his case, but they saw him miraculously remain unharmed by the tortures, undeterred in his devotion to Christ before the cruellest of emperors.

Having confessed Christ as the true God, Alexandra was met with the fury of her husband herself. Diocletian ordered her imprisonment and beheading alongside her role model, Saint George. When Alexandra learnt of her fate, she fell down in prayer and gave up her soul before she could be harmed by any man. Three of the Empress’ servants, Apollo, Isaccius and Codratus, converted to Christianity after seeing how their mistress died for the love of Christ. They went to the Emperor accusing him of barbarism. Codratus was beheaded and the other two were left to starve to death in prison. ‘Martyr’ means ‘witness’.

There are many ways in which the Saints of our Church have borne witness and suffered for Christ. St Alexandra reflects the divine economy of God in her death for Christ. When we draw towards Him, He will bring us into His embrace in mercy, each according to their circumstance.


Source: Lychnos April 2018 / May 2018