Saint Evdokia of Heliopolis

    Written by Monica Mikhail~Through the grace of God, a previously lost woman arose from her sins that were preventing her from living a righteous life and abandoned her lustful ways in order to seek her beloved Savior Jesus Christ. This blessed woman is St. Evdokia who is originally from Heliopolis, but came to live in Samaria. She was known throughout her city to have been a beautiful woman, always receiving compliments which eventually hindered her in living a moral life and led her to live in fornication. Her youth was spent pleasing many men, from Samaria and beyond, that would come looking for her in hopes that this lovely woman would fulfill their physical wants if they offered her what she desired. She continued in this manner, not giving a single thought that what she was doing was completely wrong and that she would be judged for her conduct in the future.

            One day a monk, Fr. Germanos, came to visit a neighbor of Evdokia. He started his services and as he began to read aloud a manuscript concerning the judgment of sinners and the blessings of those who followed Christ, she began to weep in her house as she heard these frightful words through an open window. She was reminded of her sinful lifestyle and in fear, she stayed awake until morning.

            In the morning she sent for Fr. Germanos and voiced her concerns with what she had heard the night before. She did not understand how anyone could enjoy the riches of the heavenly glory because all are sinners and deserve to be condemned. However, the fact that she had heard that the rich would especially be the ones who suffered troubled her because she had gained many riches through fornication. Fr. Germanos knew she was being sincere and truly desired to know more about Christ and His judgment, so he questioned her until she told him of the corruption in her life. He explained that even though all were sinners and fully deserved punishment, Christ came and died in order that we many have life in Him.  He also spoke to her saying that only those who acquired wealth through immoral conduct would be judged in the manner he previously spoke about. Not to leave her in dismay, he continued to tell her that there was hope for her if she went to the Lord with tears of repentance. Adhering to the words of the monk, she shut herself in her chamber for a week praying to the Lord that He would have compassion on her soul.

            After a week, the monk went for her and she told him of a vision that she had seen in which she had gone up to heaven escorted by Archangel Michael, where he told her, among other sayings, that all the angels rejoice when one who was lost is found. Archangel Michael left and Evdokia came back knowing that she will struggle for the sake of her faith and was willing to do anything for Jesus Christ. She and the monk rejoiced and sometime later she was baptized and gave away the overwhelming amount of her abundant riches to the needy. She gave her vineyards and fields to a priest to deal with and she freed her indentured servants, giving them her home to live in. She left them saying, “I, indeed, free you from temporary servitude. However, if you desire true freedom, believe in Christ, Who is good and merciful, that He count you worthy of His heavenly Kingdom.” St. Evdokia went on to become a nun and later on, serve as an abbess in the convent.

            The time came were St. Evdokia was to be physically tested concerning her faith in the Lord Jesus. She suffered many tortures for the sake of Christ such as her sides being cut and her entrails being pulled out. However, even though she was tortured she never was martyred until Governor Vikentios came into office. Hearing of the miracles of this saint, he ordered his troops to go after her and behead her. She received the crown of martyrdom on March 1, 107 A.D., entering into the heavenly glory.

            May the Lord grant us the desire to transform wholeheartedly into His servants, as we offer up tears of repentance with St. Evdokia asking Him to work just as wondrous in us as He did in her.