Alexandra of Rome

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Alexandra of Rome
Nikolai Bodarevsky 003.jpg
Died April 21, 303
Feast April 23
Attributes crown

Saint Alexandra of Rome (Αλεξάνδρα) — Christian saint, known from "Martyrdom of Saint George" as Emperor Diocletian's wife. She is also sometimes called Priscilla or Prisca.

Alexandra was the wife of the Emperor Diocletian and was a Christian, but secretly. While Diocletian was having Saint George tortured, the Empress went to the arena and bowed before St. George and professed her faith openly. Her husband was so outraged by this and by so many people being converted by witnessing George's miracles and patient endurance, that he ordered both of them to be beheaded. Alexandra quietly accepted her sentence and prayed as the guards walked her to the place of execution. She asked if she could rest for a moment. The guards allowed this. While resting by the wall of a building, she quietly gave her soul to God. She reposed on April 21, 303. Two days later, St. George was beheaded. They are commemorated at the same time along with Anatolios, Protoleon and the 630 others who were martyred for professing faith while witnessing George's martyrdom.

Historical reality[edit]

In reality, the historical Prisca was either a Christian or lenient towards Christianity, but never rebelled towards her husband. When Diocletian retired to Spalatum in 305, Prisca stayed with her daughter, Galeria Valeria and son-in-law, Galerius in Thessalonica. When Galerius died in 311, Licinius was entrusted with the care of Prisca and her daughter Valeria. The two women, however, fled from Licinius to Maximinus Daia. After a short time, Valeria refused the marriage proposal of Maximinus, who arrested and confined her in Syria and confiscated her properties. At the death of Maximinus, Licinius had Prisca and her daughter killed in 315.


See also[edit]