Featured Saint 20/5

St Demiana

Claim to fame: St Demiana was the sole daughter of Marcus, a Roman governor. She was so beautiful that historians often refer to her as the mother of beauty and perfection. When she reached fifteen years of age, she made a vow to remain a virgin and so, her father built a palace for her and she lived in it with forty, Coptic virgins, daughters of the statesmen and nobles of the governorate. Her father became weak under the pressure of Diocletian who forced him to offer incense to the idols. St Demiana rebuked him in a letter for leaving the faith, which became the reason for his repentance and subsequently his martyrdom for the sake of Christ. When the ruler discovered that she was the driving force behind Marcus declaring his Christian faith, he gave orders that her and her companions be tortured until they renounced their faith or died. St. Demiana and the forty virgins were all decapitated for refusing to renounce their faith despite the severe tortures they experienced.

Fun Fact: the emperor Constantine the Great, ordered that a church be built on the burial place of these virgin saints. Pope Alexandria consecrated the Church.