Dorothea of Alexandria

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Saint Dorothea of Alexandria
Died ~320
Venerated in Coptic Orthodox Church, Roman Catholic Church
Feast sometimes given as 6 February, but unofficial

Saint Dorothea of Alexandria (died c. 320) is venerated as a virgin martyr. Her legend states that she was courted by the Emperor Maximinus. She rejected his suit in favor of her adherence to Christianity and her commitment to virginity, and he had her beheaded c. 320.[dubious ]


Eusebius of Caesarea[1] writes that Maximinus conceived an insane passion for a girl of noble birth noted for her wealth, education, and virginity. When the girl refused his advances, he exiled her and seized all of her wealth and assets.[2] Eusebius does not give the girl a name, but Tyrannius Rufinus calls her "Dorothea," and writes that she fled to Arabia. Caesar Baronius identified the girl in Eusebius' account with Catherine of Alexandria, but the Bollandists rejected this theory.[2] In the 16th century, Dorothea was confused with Dorothea of Caesarea, a more famous saint of the same name, whose feast day is 6 February. This confusion resulted in 6 February sometimes being given as the feast day of the Alexandrian saint as well.[2] She is not included in the Roman Martyrology.