Lives of Saints - Holy Martyrs Eugenia, Claudia, and others Christianity - Books
And if thy hand cause thee to stumble, cut it off: it is good for thee to enter into life maimed, rather than having thy two hands to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire.                where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.                And if thy foot cause thee to stumble, cut it off: it is good for thee to enter into life halt, rather than having thy two feet to be cast into hell.                where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.                And if thine eye cause thee to stumble, cast it out: it is good for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell;                where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.               
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Lives of Saints - Holy Martyrs Eugenia, Claudia, and others
   

Holy Martyrs Eugenia, Claudia, and others

Saint Eugenia was born in Rome in the year of 183. Her father, Philip, was a governor of Egypt appointed by the emperor Commodore, and together with his family lived in Alexandria. At that time, the Christians had been driven out of Alexandria and were living outside the town. Eugenia received an excellent and comprehensive education. She was beautiful, but she did not want to get married. Having read the writings of Apostle Paul, Eugenia wanted to become a Christian with all the ardor of her heart.

At the age of 16, Eugenia, wishing to devote her whole life to God, fled from her parents’ house wearing man’s clothing and accompanied by her two faithful eunuchs, Protus and Hyacinthus. In a young man’s disguise she turned to Bishop Elias asking him to baptize her and bless her to become a monk. The Prelate discerned her secret, but baptized her with a male name Eugenie. Her slaves got baptized too. After that all the three took the monastic vows.

Always dressed as a monk Eugenia so purified her heart by voluntary asceticism and prayer at the monastery that she not only was respected deeply by her brothers there, but also received from God the gift of healing the sick. When some years later the Father Superior of the monastery died, the monks asked Eugenia to succeed him. She opened the Gospel and read, "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave…" (Matthew 20:26-27). But she had to concede to their resolution to make her Father Superior and she doubled her ascetic zeal. Everybody took her for a monk except her slaves.

One day a sick widow, Melanthia asked Eugenia for help, and the latter healed her making a sign of the cross over her. After this, the woman conceived a physical passion for her, not suspecting that she was a woman. Being firmly repulsed by Eugenia, this wicked woman, urged by the devil and out of revenge, went to the governor and slandered her just as Potiphar’s wife had slandered chaste Joseph. So Eugenia was to be brought to court to Judge Phillip, who was her own father. During the trial, the governor recognized his missing daughter in the accused Father Superior and Melanthia was convicted for libel. Having reunited with the daughter, whose disappearance they had been mourning for so long her parents marveled at her spiritual beauty, believed in Christ and were baptized. Shortly after that Christians of Alexandria elected Phillip to be their Bishop. Hearing of this, the Roman Emperor sent a wicked general, Terence, who, coming to Alexandria in 262, killed Philip.

After her father’s death St. Eugenia with her mother Claudia and her brothers returned to their family estate near Rome. Claudia set up a refuge home for the needy there and was helping widows. Later on she suffered martyrdom during the rein of the emperor Galian (269-268). In Rome, St. Eugenia fearlessly and zealously brought pagans to the true Faith, especially maidens, and thus brought a beautiful maiden, Vassilia, an orphaned descendant of the Roman imperial family, to the Faith. Vasilia’s wicked bridegroom reported to the emperor Gallian that the Christians preach singleness. Vassilia refused to obey the emperor’s orders and to marry, so she was executed. The monks Protus and Hyacinthus, St. Eugenia’s associates, were beheaded. When St. Eugenia was led to the temple of Diana to be sacrificed, her presence caused the temple to fall in ruins. St. Eugenia was accused of witchcraft and was first thrown into the river Tigris with a stone tied to her neck, but the rope got untied and she came out of the water unharmed. Then the torturers cast her into fire, but God preserved her. The Lord Jesus Himself appeared to her in the prison and told her that she would suffer on the day of His Nativity. And so it came about. She was beheaded with the sword on December 25th, 262, in Rome. Since later the 25th of December became Nativity celebration day, the day of veneration of St. Eugenia was shifted to be on the Eve of Nativity of Christ. Her relics were preserved in Rome in the church of Saint Apostles. After her death, Eugenia appeared to her mother in great glory, and comforted her.

Troparion:
O Jesus Christ, Eugenia, Thy lamb is crying out to Thee: loving Thee and seeking Thee, my Bridegroom, I suffer crucifixion and burial for Thy baptism, and martyrdom for Thee, as I triumph in Thee and die for Thee, and live in Thee. Accept me as an unblemished sacrifice, consecrating myself with love to Thee. Through Thy prayers save our souls, as you are merciful.

Troparion, Tone 3:
In thy praise inspired by the Holy Spirit,/ thou didst receive the light of divine knowledge,/ O Eugenia, glorious Virgin of Christ./ And radiant among the choir of the righteous,/ thou didst triumph over the enemy in thy contest./ O glorious Martyr, entreat Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.

Source: http://www.fatheralexander.org


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