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January 8th, 2010

kassia: (Default)
Friday, January 8th, 2010 09:54 am
St. Domnika of Alexandria, d. 474

Wealthy Roman Christians of significant social standing arranged a marriage for their daughter Domnika. She had other ideas, and fled to Alexandria. There she found four women philosophers, who were conducting an experiment in cooperative living. They welcomed her and her ideas, and they converted to Christianity based on observation of her example. The five women made a pilgrimage to Constantinople, where Patriarch Nektarios baptized Domnika's four housemates, giving them the Christian names Dorothea, Evanthia, Nonna, and Timothea. He then bestowed his authoritative blessing on Domnika's spiritual guidance of the group. They gained renown caring for the sick and the stranger. Domnika in particular was known for her skill in discernment and healing of bodily and spiritual ailments, especially the effects of curses. Even Emperor Theodosios sought her prophetic powers. But due to the burdens of so many seekers, the patriarch and the emperor agreed to her request to build her community a cloister in a more secluded location. The cloister's church was dedicated to the Prophet Zachariah, and Patriarch Nektarios there ordained Domnika "to the priestly rank of the diaconate in Christ" (το ιερατικον σχημα της εν Χριστω διακονιας). She continued to lead her community for many more years.

based on Tsamis, Μητερικον, vol. II, 200-227 as tr. Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald in Women Deacons in the Orthodox Church,1998. 34-35

compare St. Domnica of Constantinople