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Saint Eudokia the Martyr of Heliopolis (1 March)

Eudocia lived in the Phoenician city of Heliopolis during the reign of Trajan. Initially, Eudocia was a great debauchee, but afterward she was a penitent, an ascetic, and finally a martyr. Through her harlotry she amassed a huge fortune. The change in her life occurred inadvertently through God’s providence and a certain elder, the monk Germanus. Having come into the city on an obedience, Germanus was residing at the home of a Christian whose house was adjacent to that of Eudocia.

In the evening, according to monastic practice, he began to recite the Psalter and a book on the Dread Judgment. Eudocia heard him and eavesdropped attentively to the end. Fear and terror overcame her, and she remained awake until dawn. At daybreak she sent her servant to beseech the monk to come to her. Germanus came, and a lengthy conversation took place between them about what the elderly monk had been reading the night before, and about faith and salvation in general.

As a result of their conversation, Eudocia petitioned the local bishop to baptize her. Following her baptism, Eudocia bequeathed her entire estate to the Church, to be distributed among the poor. After dismissing her servants and slaves, she withdrew to a convent. Thus, Eudocia resolved to dedicate herself to the monastic life: obedience, patience, vigils, prayer and fasting. After thirteen months Eudocia was elected abbess. She lived in the convent for fifty-six years and was found worthy before God.

He endowed her with such grace that she even raised the dead. When the persecution of Christians began under Prince Vincent, St. Eudocia was beheaded. Eudocia is a glorious example of how a vessel of impurity can be purified, sanctified and filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit, the precious fragrance of heaven.

This Saint, who was from Heliopolis of Phoenicia (Baalbek in present-day Lebanon), was an idolater and led a licentious life. Being beautiful beyond telling, she had many lovers, and had acquired great riches. Yet brought to repentance by a monk named Germanus, and baptized by Bishop Theodotus, she distributed to the poor all her ill-gotten gains, and entered a convent, giving herself up completely to the life of asceticism. Her former lovers, enraged at her conversion, her refusal to return to her old ways, and the withering away of her beauty through the severe mortifications she practiced, betrayed her as a Christian to Vincent the Governor, and she was beheaded, according to some, under Trajan, who reigned from 98 to 117, according to others, under Hadrian, who reigned from 117 to 138.

Apolytikion of Martyr Eudocia

Plagal of the Fourth Tone

The image of God, was faithfully preserved in you, O Mother. For you took up the Cross and followed Christ. By Your actions you taught us to look beyond the flesh for it passes, rather to be concerned about the soul which is immortal. Wherefore, O Holy Eudokia, your soul rejoices with the angels.

Kontakion of Martyr Eudocia

Fourth Tone

When thou wast brought up from the mire of transgression, like a most precious stone whose brightness is darkened, repentance made thee shine again with godliness; and when thou hadst reached the height of ascetical striving. Christ made thee illustrious with the glory of contest, and hath bestowed on thee His grace to heal, O wise Eudocia, thou rival of angel-kind.