Tuesday, 19 April 2011

St. Alexandra

St. Alexandra, martyr (sometimes known as St. Priscilla)

Well, here I am with another saint who is better known in the Orthodox churches than in the Catholic Church although both have a feast day for her.  The Orthodox keep the feast of St. Alexandra on April 21st while the Catholics list the feast of St. Alexandra (sometimes called St. Priscilla) as April 23rd.  She seemed to me to be an appropriate saint to get to know as her feast day is almost here and as a martyr, Holy Week seemed a proper time for me to present her to you.

St. Alexandra was the wife of the Roman emperor, Diocletian (284 - 305).  This is the very Diocletian for whom the last great slaughter of Christians was named.  Before the killing was over, both his wife and his daughter [a secret Christian] were dead.  The daughter's name was Valeria and she is also a martyr-saint.  Diocletian was a Roman emperor in the grand tradition of Roman emperors:  he came from simple beginnings, worked his way up through the ranks of the military and finally reached his exalted position through hard work and a motto of "I shall win control no matter who I have to step on".  He was also a devout believer in the Roman gods and felt strongly about these Christians who wanted to replace them with the worship of the One God -- these followers of Christ Jesus.  He was quite willing to blame anything unpleasant that happened in the empire on the Christians and seemed to take real pleasure in trying to get rid of them!

His wife, Alexandra, on the other hand was a warm, kind-hearted woman whom the Roman people seem to have loved greatly.  She often travelled about the countryside visiting the people and talking with them.  This is how she happened to hear about St. George (yes, the one known as the dragon slayer).  He had been a Roman soldier who was now being punished by her husband for his faith in Jesus Christ and his refusal to worship the Roman gods.  Intrigued, she sought out St. George, finding him in the dungeons, beaten and bloody.  Even in this state, he spoke to Alexandra with calm assurance of the love of Christ.  So powerful was his witness that St. Alexandra renounced the pagan gods and joyfully accepted Christ as her Saviour.

We are told that St. Alexandra then went to her husband to tell him about Christ Jesus in hopes that he would be converted also.  She also begged him for the release of St. George.  He angrily dismissed her and all she had to say.  Alexandra, however, continued to plead for the release of St. George.  The story goes that she so aggravated the emperor with her witnessing and pleading that he had her imprisoned during his next persecution of Christians so that she along with her daughter, who had also become a Christian, and St. George could all be beheaded.  God mercifully took St. Alexandra to Himself as she slept, just hours before she was to be beheaded.  She was still given the title of martyr as only the gift of a peaceful death had prevented her from being cruelly executed.  All these persecutions finally came to an end soon after this as Constantine, one of the four rulers under Diocletian, was convinced of the rightness of the Christian religion.  He was able to take control of the empire and declare Christianity as the preferred religion of the state. 
St. Alexandra, pray for us.

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Now after the lengthy history lesson above, I have some more light-hearted items to share with you.


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Now for a few dog and cat photos.



Now, this is what I call teamwork!



Cat: "Last year I could only reach the black spot -- now look at me!"
Dog:  "Can we stop now?  This is really embarrassing."



"What happened?  I saw an open box and jumped in like I always do...
now I am covered with all these white things!  Help!"
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Suki continues to do very well while I, on the other hand, continue to have a bit more difficulty with my joints and bones.  But, then, she is 2 years old while I am 68 plus 2!  All things considered, I guess I am doing pretty well.  One thing is for certain:  God is taking very good care of  me.
May His peace be with us all.

1 comment:

Deb said...

Your information on the saints is always very interesting. Thankyou!