From the Desk of Father Michael 

Saint Eudokia the Martyr of Heliopolis

Commemorated March 1st

 With an upright mind you bound your soul to the love of Christ. As a disciple of the Word you turned from corruption and all that passes away, for you were not moved by earthly beauty. First you mortified the passions through fasting, and then you put the enemy to shame by your suffering. Therefore, Christ has granted you a two-fold crown. Glorious Eudokia, venerable passion-bearer, entreat Christ God that our souls may be saved!

Troparion Chanted in Tone 8

 You contended well in your suffering, all-praised one; even after your death you bless us, pouring out wonders on us.  In faith we run to your divine temple, and as we celebrate your feast, we entreat you, venerable martyr Eudokia, that we be delivered from spiritual afflictions and may receive the grace of miracles. Kontakion Chanted in Tone 4

 Beloved in the Lord,

Saint Eudokia the Monastic Martyr was a native of the city of Heliopolis (a city northeast Lebanon), who lived during the reign of the Roman Emperor Trajan. She faithfully worshiped paganism and lived a sinful and promiscuous life.

The Saint lived in a neighborhood of Christians and would often notice in their faces the joy and happiness they had in believing in Christ. Many times Eudokia became joyful hearing chanting from a woman that lived next door. She once heard a monk named Germanus reading from a book describing the Last Judgment, the punishment of sinners and the rewards of the righteous. The grace of God touched Eudokia’s heart and immediately she began to understand the love of Christ and grieved her sinful life.

Eudokia approached Germanus and began a conversation with him. During this conversation he told her that he had recently returned from the Holy Lands. Eudokia listened intensely to the guidance of the Elder and immediately her heart and soul was filled with joy and with love for Christ. Saint Eudokia invited the Elder to stay at her home for a week while she isolated herself in her room in meditation, fasting and prayer.

When Eudokia emerged from her room Germanus told her to give away her wealth and to disregard her previous life. She joyfully rejected her sinful ways and was baptized by Bishop Theodotus Bishop of Heliopolis. She immediately entered a monastery and began a life of repentance. Our Savior granted her forgiveness and bestowed on her many spiritual gifts. After many years in the monastery she was called to be the abbess.

Shortly after being named the abbess a pagan man whom Eudokia was involved with during her sinful life appeared at the monastery, his name was Philostrates. He heard of the conversion of Eudokia and desired to see her again. As he approached the monastery a lustful passion grew in his soul, so disguised as a monk he began to urge Eudokia to return to Heliopolis and resume her former life. Realizing his deceit she cried, “May God rebuke you and not allow you to leave”, he then died. Fearing that Eudokia had served as an accomplice to murder the sisters intensified their prayer and asked that the Lord reveal His will.

The Lord came to Saint Eudokia in a dream and said: “Arise Eudokia and pray for the resurrection of the dead man”, through her prayer Philostrates again lived. He then begged Eudokia for her forgiveness and was baptized. He never forgot the mercy of God and always lived a life of repentance.

During the persecutions of the Christians Eudokia was arrested and brought before the governor who’s name was Diogenes who ordered Eudokia to be tortured. The soldier Diodorus, who oversaw her torture suddenly, received a messenger that told him of the sudden death of his wife Firmina. Diodorus went to Saint Eudokia pleading that she prays for his deceased wife. The Holy Martyr prayed and pleaded to God that He would return Firmina to life. Both Diodorus and Diogenes witnessed the restoration to life to Firmina. Observing with their own eyes the power and the grace of the Lord they immediately believed in Christ and were baptized together with their families. Saint Eudokia immediately went to live in the house of Diodorus where she continued to enlighten her new Christian family.

While Eudokia was living in the home of Diodorus a young man that was working in the garden was bitten by a snake and died, he was the only son of a widowed woman. The widow, who was overcome with grief asked Diodorus to bring him back to life. Hearing this Saint Eudokia told Diodorus, “The time has come for you to show faith in the Almighty God, Who hears the prayers of penitent sinners and in His mercy grants them forgiveness.”

Diodorus prayed in the name of Christ, he commanded the young man to arise and before everyone the youth’s life returned. Saint Eudokia then returned to her monastery, where she lived in asceticism for fifty-six years.

After the death of governor Diogenes a new governor was appointed named Vicentius. Vicentius was a persecutor of Christians and vowed to destroy all Christians. He heard of the many spiritual deeds of Saint Eudokia and vowed to send her to her false God. On March 1st, 107ad Vicentius gave the order to execute the Saint on that day Saint Eudokia was beheaded and Martyred for Christ.

In His Service,

Father Michael