How far are you willing to go to achieve an aim very dear to your heart?Do you give up at the slightest challenge you face? If this sounds likeyou, then I hope the story of Eugenia helps you find the perseveranceand faith you desire.
Eugenia went all out for what she believed, will you?
Eugenia was born in Rome into the noble house of Duke Philip andClaudia. She had two brothers. As per a girl born into nobility, Eugeniahad an excellent education of her time.
Her father, Philip, was sent to Alexandria, Egypt as the governor byemperor Commodus. As prefect of the city of Alexandria, her fathergoverned all over the lands on the emperor’s behalf. Eugenia grew up inAlexandria with her family and enjoyed all the privileges due to herbirth.
Most of what we know about Eugenia comes as a legend. According to thestory, Eugenia, born a pagan, chanced upon the Christianity gospel atAlexandria. Her heart was particularly inflamed when she came across theEpistles of St. Paul. she yearned to know more about the faith.
Young Eugenia grew into a lovely and well-cultured young lady. Suitorsfell over themselves, seeking her hand in marriage. Notably among hersuitors was Aquilus, son of a consul. But Eugenia turned down allmarriage requests. In the secret of her heart, she wants to remain avirgin.
Flight From Home
Eugenia sought the permission of her parents to visit a rural villabelonging to the family in the suburbs. But her true intention was tosee the Christian area. On passing through the Christian territory, sheheard a group of Christians singing hymns, and an undying passion forthe new faith was enkindled in her.
This permission is granted because she goes with her servants and iscarried on a litter.
One day, Eugenia decided to become a Christian. She confided in herservants Protus and Hyacinthus, and they came up with an escape plan.Eugenia cut her hair and disguised as a man. With the help of herservants, she fled from home at the opportunity of a routine day out.
Dressed as a man and changed her name to Eugenius, she met Helenus,bishop of Heliopolis, who baptized and welcomed her into the Christianfold. She joined the monastery, still disguised as a man.
At the abbey, Eugenia was distinguished as a young devoted, and piousabbot. She pursued a life of austerity and acquired the gift of healing.For a few years, she was hidden in the abbey living as a monk.
Eugenia healed a wealthy noblewoman named Melanthia of her illness bypraying and using anointed oil. Melanthia was burning with lust for theyoung and beautiful, assumed the young monk made sexual advances on her,which eugenia promptly rejected.
Pissed off by her rejection, Melanthia decided to play Potiphar’s wife.She raised the alarm, accusing Eugenia of sexual harassment. Eugenia wasmade to appear before a judge to answer the accusations against her. Thejudge was her father.
Facing the court, Eugenia boldly defended herself of all accusations.The highlight of her defense was when she confessed she was a lady andtore her clothes to prove it. She also revealed to her father who shewas.
Her family’s joy knew no bounds on finding her again. They had searchedand mourned her loss.
Eugenia’s family converted to Christianity along with her. Christianityin that era was a forbidden faith under Roman rule. For becomingChristians, her father Philip was assassinated on the order of theemperor. The rest of the family went back to Rome.
In Rome, Eugenia converted many, especially young maidens. Her mother,Claudia, built a wanderer’s home and aided the poor.
Eugenia suffered the faith of martyrs. She was first tied with a stonearound her neck and thrown into the Tiber, but the stone untied, and shewas unharmed. She was cast into a blazing fire but remained unscathed.Next, Eugenia was left in a dark cell for about 10 days without food,but Christ illuminated her cell and fed her with a shining white loaf.
Finally, on 25 December 258, Eugenia was beheaded with a sword.
5 Interesting Facts About St. Eugenia
- Eugenia was beheaded on a date that now hosts the most celebrated
birthday in Christendom. 25th December, the birthday of Jesus
- Eugenia’s faith led her family to the path of sainthood. Her father,
mother and her servants Protus and Hyacinthus who were martyred
are also honoured as saints.
- According to legend, Eugenia after her death appeared to her mother
in a dream to inform her of the day she will be killed.
- Eugenia is depicted in a church painting in the small village of
Santa Eugenia in North Portugal as a boy dressed in Roman era
- When Eugenia was led to the temple of Diana in Rome to be beheaded,
her prescence caused the temple to be shattered in ruins.
Prayer to St. Eugenia
There is no official prayer to saint Eugenia.