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St. Thomais of Alexandria, Martyr


Commemorated on April 13

Thomais was born into a Christian family in the city of Alexandria. She was raised in piety, and loved to read spiritual books.

When she was fifteen, she married a fisherman, who was also a Christian. The young couple lived in the house of her husband’s family, where St. Thomais was loved for her mild and gentle disposition.

St. Thomais’ father-in-law, at the prompting of the devil, was captivated by her beauty. One night, when his son was out fishing, he attempted to lead his daughter-in-law into sin. Horrified, St. Thomais admonished the senseless old man, reminding him of the Last Judgment and the penalty for sin. Infuriated by her steadfastness, he seized a sword and threatened to cut off her head. St. Thomais replied, “Even if you cut me to pieces, I shall not stray from the commandments of the Lord.” Overcome with passion, the old man cut St Thomais in two with his sword. The saint received the crown of martyrdom in 476.

Divine punishment overtook the murderer. He instantly became blind and could not find the door in order to escape. In the morning, friends of the saint’s husband came to the door. They saw the body of the saint, and the blind old man covered with blood. The murderer confessed his evil deed and asked to be taken to the judge for punishment. He was beheaded for his crime.

At this same time, St. Daniel of Skete happened to be in Alexandria. He told the monks of the Oktodekadian Monastery to bring the body of St. Thomais to the monastery and bury her in the cemetery with the departed fathers. Some of the monks were scandalized because he wanted to bury a woman’s body with the monks, but St. Daniel replied, “She is a mother to me and to you, because she died for her chastity.”

After the funeral, St Daniel returned to his own skete. Soon one of the young monks began to complain to him that he was tormented by fleshly passions. St. Daniel ordered him to go and pray at the grave of the holy martyr Thomais. The monk did the bidding of the Elder. While he prayed at the grave, he fell into a light sleep. St. Thomais appeared to him and said, “Father, accept my blessing and go in peace.”

When he awakened, the monk felt joy and peace in his soul. After this, he told St. Daniel that he was no longer bothered by the temptations of the flesh. Abba Daniel exclaimed, “Great is the boldness of those who have struggled for chastity.”

Many found both spiritual joy and release from their passions at the grave of St. Thomais. Her holy relics were eventually transferred to Constantinople to one of the women’s monasteries. The Russian pilgrim Archdeacon Zosimas venerated them in 1420.

St. Thomais is invoked by those seeking deliverance from sexual impurity.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (