St. Euphrosyne, nun, of Alexandria (445).

Commemorated on February 15, September 25

Born in Alexandria, she secretly left her parental home at the age of 18 and entered a men's monastery under the name of the eunuch Smaragdus. Not recognizing the maiden in male clothing, the Hegumen assigned her to a solitary cell where Euphrosyne practiced asceticism for many years. Here she was, in the words of the Holy Church, "a virgin in soul and body", "a man with reason and faith", who loved "to be one with the divine goodness of Christ", who conquered "the cunning enemies" and "demonic assaults" on chastity and "the fire of abstinence". Having extinguished "the fire of passions", she increased the "fruits of good works" and reached a high degree of perfection. The father of St. Euphrosyne, Paphnutius, came more than once to the Hegumen of the monastery (where Ven. Euphrosyne practiced asceticism), seeking comfort in his grief for his daughter who disappeared. And once the Hegumen led him to the young ascetic, who so distinguished himself through vigils and labors. The father had long conversations with the monk, not recognizing in the changed face under the lowered klobuk (hood) his favorite daughter. St. Euphrosyne practiced asceticism in the monastery for 38 years, "having undergone great ascetic feats" and shining "with the beauty of virtues". Before her death (which followed in the second half of the 5th century) she revealed herself to her father and to St. Paphnutius. After he distributed his estate, he settled in that same cell where his daughter was saved, and practiced asceticism there (20 or 28 years) before his own death.

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