MARY OF ALEXANDRIA, SAINT
There is very little about the childhood of Mary. She was the daughter of Christian parents and was from Alexandria. She refused all the noble matches that were offered to her, which makes one suppose that she was of aristocratic birth. Her parents being dead, she distributed to the poor and the needy all the goods left her by her father and became a nun in one of the monasteries outside Alexandria, which dates this life before the Persian invasion (619-629). (According to the HISTORY OF THE PATRIARCHS, the Persians destroyed 600 monasteries outside of Alexandria, and it is not said that these were later reconstructed.)
She there received the monastic habit. She showed herself faithful to the ascetic practices of fasting and prayer for fifteen years (not twelve as the Ethiopic version says). Then she asked and obtained from the superior permission to live the life of a recluse, which she did for twenty-five years. This leads one to think that she took her vows fairly young.
On 11 Tubah she asked for a little holy water to be brought to her and washed her face and hands with it, then she received the holy mysteries and drank from the blessed water. She fell sick and was confined to bed until 21 Tubah. On that day she received the holy mysteries for the second time, and invited her sisters to visit her three days later, but when that day came, 24 Tubah, they found her dead. They buried her with the other sisters.
- Budge, E. A. W. The Book of the Saints of the Ethiopian Church, 4 vols. Cambridge, 1928.
- Crum, W. E. A Coptic Dictionary. Oxford, 1939.