Saint Euphrosyne lived in Egypt during the 5th century. Her father, Paphnutius, was a well-known and well-respected citizen of Alexandria.
Euphrosyne was a miracle child, in that she was born to aging parents as a result of their fervent prayers.
To avoid marriage and to embrace the spiritual life, Euphrosyne dressed as a man and entered a men’s monastery. She excelled in virtue, fasting and prayer.
Her widowed father longed to see his daughter again. His search for Euphrosyne led him to many women’s monasteries. At some point he sought counsel and comfort from the very monastery where Euphrosyne lived. The abbot sent him to Smaragdus, which was the name Euphrosyne had taken in her disguise. She encouraged him that in fact his daughter was well and living in a good place.
After thirty-three years, Saint Euphrosyne told Paphnutius that he would see his daughter one more time and that he should come again in three days. When he came, she was on her death bed. She revealed her identity. Paphnutius was astonished. He wept over her as she died. After burying her, he entered the monastery himself and lived in his daughter’s cell. Ten years later, he died.
We honor this Holy Virgin Saint on September 25.
The ancient Greek name “Euphrosyne” means “mirth, merriment, fair and good.”
Holy Virgin of the Lord, pray that we may be strong in virtue. By the grace of God, may our light so shine that we may even become an example and inspiration for others. Amen.
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