Eugenia was the daughter of Philip the Eparch of all Egypt and was born in Rome. At that time the Christians had been driven out of Alexandria and lived outside the city. The virgin Eugenia visited the Christians and accepted their Faith with her whole heart. Fleeing from her parents with two of her faithful eunuchs, she was baptized by Bishop Elias. Disguised in men’s clothing, she entered a men’s monastery where she received the monastic habit. So much did she cleanse her heart by voluntary asceticism that she received from God the grace of healing the sick. Thus, she healed a wealthy woman, Melanthia.
After this, however, Melanthia wanted to lure Eugenia into bodily sin, not suspecting that Eugenia was a woman. Since she was adamantly rejected by Eugenia, out of revenge this evil woman went to the eparch and slandered Eugenia in the same manner as Potiphar’s wife had once slandered the chaste Joseph. The eparch ordered that all the monks be bound and cast into prison together with Eugenia. But when St. Eugenia was brought before the tribunal, she revealed herself to her father as his daughter. The overjoyed Philip was then baptized with his entire household, and he was chosen as Bishop of Alexandria. Hearing of this, the Roman emperor sent a wicked commander, Terentius, who came to Alexandria and secretly had Philip killed. St. Eugenia moved to Rome with her mother and brothers. In Rome she fearlessly and zealously converted pagans, especially maidens, to the true Faith, and thus she converted a beautiful maiden Basilla to the Faith. Shortly afterward, Basilla was beheaded for Christ as Eugenia had foretold to her. Then both eunuchs, Protus and Hyacinth, were beheaded. Finally, a martyr’s end came to St. Eugenia, whose presence had caused the collapse and destruction of the Temple of Diana. The torturers threw her first into water and then into fire, but God saved her. The Lord Jesus Himself appeared to her in prison and told her that she would suffer on the day of His Nativity. And so it was. She was beheaded by the sword on December 25, 262, in Rome. After her death, St. Eugenia appeared in great glory to her mother and comforted her.
Feast Day: December 24
by Saint Nikolai Veimirovich, The Prologue from Ohrid