The Nun Evphrosynia, Hegumeness of Polotsk

Commemorated on May 23

      The Nun Evphrosynia, Hegumeness of Polotsk, was in the world named Predslava, daughter of prince Georgii Vseslavich. From her childhood years she was noted for her love of prayer and book learning. Having rejected a proposal for marriage, Predslava took monastic vows with the name Evphrosynia. With the blessing of the Polotsk bishop Ilia, she began to live near the Sophia cathedral, where she occupied herself by the copying of books. In about the year 1128 Bishop Ilia entrusted the nun the task of organising a women's monastery. Setting out for Sel'tso the place of the future monastery, the ascetic took only her holy books "all her possessions". At the newly constructed Saviour-Transfiguration monastery the saint taught the girls the copying of books, singing, sewing and other handicrafts. By her zeal in 1161 there was constructed a cathedral, preserved til now. The Nun Evphrosynia founded also the Bogoroditsk men's monastery, to which by her request the Constantinople Patriarch Luke sent a copy of the wonderworking Ephesus Icon of the Mother of God. Somewhat before her death, the Nun Evphrosynia together with her nephew David and sister Evpraxia journeyed in pilgrimage to the Holy Places. Having venerated the holy things at Tsar'grad, she arrived in Jerusalem, where at the Russian monastery of the Most Holy Mother of God the Lord granted her a peaceful end on 24 May 1173. And later on in 1187 the body of the saint was transferred to the Kievo-Pechersk monastery, and in 1910 the relics were transferred to Polotsk to the monastery founded by her.
      The Nun Evphrosynia of Polotsk was glorified in the Russian Church as a patroness of women's monasticism.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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The Nun
Evphrosynia, Hegumeness of Polotsk

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