Saint Domna grew up in the palace of Galerius in Nicomedia during the 4th century. She was the priestess of twelve gods and enjoyed a comfortable life.
When she was fourteen years old, Domna began to understand that something was wrong with her religion. The pagan ceremonies became disgusting to her. At the same time, she became interested in the Christian faith. She was attracted by its simplicity and beauty. Somehow Domna obtained a copy of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. Later she bought some of the epistles of Saint Paul. These writings touched her heart and she desired to learn more about Christianity.
Domna was baptized by Saint Cyril, bishop of Nicomedia. From that time, she fasted often and gave generously to the poor.
A governor of the palace locked her up when she stopped participating in the pagan rituals, but she pretended to be crazy. A good man in the palace, then, arranged for Domna to be sent away to the holy abbess Agape, to be “cured.” Eventually, Galerius realized that Domna had left the service of the pagans and become a Christian. He was angry to lose her and others who were converting to the Christian faith.
In his wrath, Galerius ordered a violent search of every monastery. He also commanded that all the churches be burned on Christmas day. Thousands of martyrs met their deaths in the flames. Among them was Saint Theophili.
Saint Domna had been living in the mountains. However, when she learned of the death of her brother, she left the place where she had been hiding and returned to Nicomedia. When she found her brother’s body, and those of others she had known, she helped to bury them and stayed to take care of the graves. Galerius ordered her to be beheaded when he heard about where she was and what she was doing.
The ancient name “Domna” means “Lady.”
We commemorate this Holy Virgin Martyr on December 28.
Holy Bride of God, Domna, increase our desire to learn about the Christian faith, to cherish the Holy Bible, and to give our whole lives for Christ, our God, as you did. Amen.