Icon of St. Euphrosyne – S76


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Church Feast Day 1



Egg Tempera


20th c. (Late)


Ginala, Maria


St. Euphrosyne was the only daughter of Paphnutius of Egypt, and lived in Alexandria in the time of the Roman Emperor Theodosios the Younger (a.d. 408 to 450).  She was born by the Providence of God and from special prayers offered by her childless parents.  When she grew of age, fearing her father would prevent her from living a life completely dedicated to God by desiring that she marry, she disguised herself in men’s clothing, and posing as a eunuch, applied to enter a nearby men’s monastery.

Here St. Euphrosyne, taking the masculine name of Smaragdus, excelled in the virtues of the monastic exercise of self-restraint, while praying many hours each day to draw near to God.  By God’s Providence, her own father, bereaving over the unexplained loss of his only daughter, turned to the abbot of the monastery where she dwelt.  The abbot asked Smaragdus to give this man some words of comfort and edification, which she did for some time.  When she was dying and about to leave this life, she revealed to him her real identity, and left him again, this time directly for Heaven.  He became a monk and lived in that same cell.