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Saint Demiana
Coptic icon of Saint Demiana the Holy Martyr
Virgin, Martyr
Born 3rd century, Egypt
Died End of 3rd/beginning of 4th century, Egypt
Venerated in Oriental Orthodox Christianity
Major shrine Saint Demiana Monastery, Cairo, Egypt
Feast January 22 (Tobi 13)
Attributes Virgin carrying a palm and a cross, Virgin with 40 other virgins

Saint Demiana, (Coptic: Timiany), also known as the Chaste and Fighter Virgin, is an Egyptian martyr of the late third/early fourth century.

Demiana was the only daughter of Mark, governor of Borollus, Zaafran, and Wadi Al-Saysaban in the Northern Nile Delta. At the age of fifteen, she vowed herself to live as virgin for the sake of Christ. She asked her father to build her a place where she could worship God in seclusion with her virgin friends. Her father fulfilled her wish and built her the house that she wanted. She lived in it with forty other virgins, spending their time reading the holy scripture and worshiping God.

When Emperor Diocletian sent for Mark and ordered him to worship the idols, the latter eventually succumbed to Diocletian's wish and did so as to appease the Emperor. Learning that her father had renounced Christianity, Demiana rushed to meet him and said she would have preferred to hear about his death rather than about him renouncing Christianity. Mark was greatly moved by the words of his daughter and wept bitterly. He went back to Diocletian and confessed his Christian faith. When the Emperor could no longer convince him, with threats and promises, to worship the Roman gods, he ordered him beheaded.

Diocletian subsequently learned that it was Demiana who had turned Mark from worshipping the Roman gods. Thus, he sent her a prince accompanied by two hundred soldiers and instruments of torture. When the prince failed to convince her to renounce her faith, he ordered her to be placed in the Hinbazeen (a squeezing press) until her blood poured out of her body. The forty virgins were standing weeping over her. After the torture, Demiana was locked in a cell where an angel appeared to her and healed her wounds. Subsequent tortures, which included tearing Demiana's flesh and placing her in boiling oil, also failed to ensure her loyalty to the gods of the Roman Empire. Eventually, the prince sent by Diocletian ordered Demiana beheaded, along with the forty other virgins. This occurred on Tobi 13 (January 22).

Today, Demiana is one of the most popular female saints in the Coptic Orthodox Church. She has a monastery built on her name near the town of Belqas at the place where she used to worship with her forty virgin friends. Many Coptic churches inside and outside Egypt also carry her name, and the first name Demiana is very common among Coptic females. An annual festival takes place around the time of her feast at her monastery near Belqas.


note :according to the greek orthodox metropolitan pentalimon lambadarios of belusium (farma) north east of egypt he declear that agia demiana considered to be one of the greek orthodox saint and biographied in the synexarium of the greek orthodox church in a certain day

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