The Holy Martyress Euphrasia the Virgin
Commemorated on January 19
The Holy Martyress Euphrasia the Virgin was born at Nikomedia into an illustrious family. She was a christian and noted for her beauty. During the time of the Maximian persecution against christians, the governor of the city tried to compel Euphrasia to offer sacrifice to idols; when she refused, he gave orders for her to be beaten, and then given over to a soldier for desecration. The saint prayed tearfully to the Lord that He would preserve her virginity, and God heard her prayer. Saint Euphrasia suggested to the soldier that he help her find an herb, which would protect him from enemy weapons and death. But this herb, she explained, held its power only when received from a virgin and not from a woman. The soldier believed Saint Euphrasia and went with her into the garden. The holy virgin gathered the herb, which lay underfoot, and suggested to the soldier that he try its power on her. She placed the herb to her neck and ordered the soldier to strike forcefully with his sword. Thus her prayer was answered, and the wise virgin offered her soul to God, having preserved her pure virginity (+ 303).
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.