Basilissa of Nicomedia

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The Martyr Basilissa of Nicomedia, also Vasilissa, was a young maiden, of the early fourth century, who showed unshakable firmness in her faithfulness to Jesus Christ when she was being forced to renounce him. Her feast day is September 3.

In Nicomedia, Basilissa suffered for her faith under the emperor Diocletian when the governor of Nicomedia Alexander ordered the arrest of the nine year old Basilissa and attempted to force her to renounce Christ. She was subjected to protracted and intense torture as the torturers covered her whole body with wounds. Through the grace of God, the holy martyr remained alive, unharmed, and faithful to Christ.

Her survival was evidence to all those present as a manifestation of the power of God. Her torturer, Alexander, seeing these wonders, repented and confessed himself a Christian. Basilissa went out into a field, fell on her knees and prayed to God, thanking Him for her endurance under torture.

Alexander was baptized later by Bishop Anthimus of Nicomedia. Living in deep repentance, Alexander died a short time later, departing peacefully to the Lord. Some while after Alexander's repose St. Basilissa died peacefully and accompanied by miraculous signs of God's mercy.