Protomartyr Evdokia the Samaritan
March 14 th (March 1st Old Calendar)
The Holy and Righteous Martyr Evdokia the Samaritan lived in Heliopolis, a city of Phoenicia, during the reign of Trajan. She was first a great harlot, then a penitent, a nun, and finally a martyr. She had gained great wealth from her harlotry. The reversal of her life was brought about through the providence of God, by an elderly monk, Germanus, and that unintentionally. Coming to Heliopolis in the course of his work, he stayed at the house of a Christian woman whose home abutted Evdokia's. When at night he began, as was his monastic custom, to read the Psalter and a book on the Dreadful Judgment, Evdokia heard him and stood listening attentively to his every word until the end. Fear and dread took such hold of her that she remained awake until daybreak. As soon as it was dawn, she sent a servant to beg that the monk come to her. Germanus came, and they began a long conversation on what the old monk had been reading the previous night, especially about faith and salvation. The result of these discussions was that Evdokia asked the local bishop to baptize her.
After her baptism, she gave all her goods to the church to be distributed to the poor, dismissed her servants and slaves, and retired to a women's monastery. She so devoted herself to the monastic life - to obedience, patience, vigils, prayer, and fasting - that after thirteen months she was chosen as abbess. She lived fifty-six years in the monastery and was worthy in the eyes of God to be given the gift of raising the dead. When a persecution of Christians arose under the governor, Vincent, holy Evdokia was beheaded. She is a wonderful example of how a vessel of uncleanness can be purified, sanctified, and filled with a precious, heavenly fragrance by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
O Evdokia, when godly fear entered thy heart,/ thou didst abandon the glory of the world,/ and hasten to God the Word./ Thou didst take His yoke on thy flesh,/ and shed thy blood in a contest surpassing nature./ O glorious Martyr, entreat Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.
He Who was pleased to raise thee from the depths of perdition to the summit of godliness/ has also made thee illustrious through thy contest./ He has granted thee the grace of healing,/ O righteous Martyr and equal to the Angels./ Beseech Him to save us, O Evdokia.
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