May 23

From the Prologue

Euphrosyne was the daughter of Prince Vseslav of Poltsk. When her parents wanted to betroth her, she fled to a convent and was tonsured a nun. An angel of the Lord appeared to her three times and revealed to her where she must establish a new convent for virgins. She even attracted her sister Eudocia to the monastic life and many other maidens from the ranks of the aristocracy. Her cousin, Zvenislava, by birth Princess Borisov, brought all of her riches, clothes and precious stones and said: "All the beauty of this world, I consider vanity and these adornments prepared for my marriage, I give to the Church of the Savior and I, myself, wish to be betrothed to Him in a spiritual marriage and place my head beneath His good and easy yoke." Euphrosyne also tonsured her a nun and gave her the name Eupraxia. In her old age, Euphrosyne desired to die in Jerusalem and for that she prayed to God. God heard her prayers and, indeed, when she visited Jerusalem she died there. Euphrosyne was buried in the monastery of St. Theodosius on May 23, 1173 A.D.



The evil empress, accuses Michael,

That he, the Islamic faith, berates,

To the monk, a strange proposal, the emperor extends,

That, as a son, he will adopt him,

Only, the True Faith to abandon,

And, as a Muslim, his head to shave.

The monk, with prayer warms his heart

And to the Sultan's face, he smiles:

You think, O emperor, than me, you are stronger?

Death, for me, a new life means,

For the world, my soul cares not,

Behold, three things to you, I propose:

Either, with the Cross of true believers be baptized

Or with the bloodthirsty sword, slay me,

Or to my spiritual father, release me,

That to my monastery, I return.

With fury, the king became enraged:

With lightning speed, the head of the saint fell.

His holy soul, the angels took

And into the kingdom of Christ, conveyed it.

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