March 1st (old calendar) / March 14 (new)
Martyr Eudoxia of Heliopolis (ca. 160-170). Ven. Martyrii (Martyrius) of Zelenétsk (Pskov—1603). Martyrs Nestor and Tribimius (3rd c.). Martyr Antonina of Nicæa in Bithynia (3rd-4th c.). Martyrs Marcellus and Anthony. Virgin Domnina of Syria (ca. 450-460). Ven. Agapius of Vatopedi (Mt. Athos).
Holy Monastic Martyr Eudokia was a Samaritan, a native of the city of Heliopolis in Phoenicia (modern Baalbek), who lived during the reign of Trajan (98-117). Her pagan impiety took her off the good path, and for a long time she led a sinful life. Her soul was deadened and her heart hardened.
Eudokia awoke one night at midnight and heard singing from the house of a Christian woman next to hers. A monk was reading from a book which described the Last Judgment, the punishment of sinners, and the reward of the righteous. The grace of God touched Eudokia’s heart, and she grieved because of her great wealth and for her sinful life.
In the morning Eudokia hastened to call on the man whose rule of prayer she heard the previous night. This was a monk named Germanus, returning from pilgrimage to the holy places to his own monastery. Eudokia listened for a long time to the guidance of the Elder, and her soul was filled with joy and love for Christ. She asked Germanus to stay in her home for a week, during which she secluded herself in her room, and spent her time in fasting and prayer.
The Elder Germanus told her to give away her wealth and to forget her previous life. Eudokia received holy Baptism from Bishop Theodotus of Heliopolis. She entered a monastery and took upon herself very strict acts of penitence. The Lord granted forgiveness to the penitent sinner and endowed her with spiritual gifts.
After she had become the head of the monastery, the young pagan Philostrates (one of her former lovers) heard of her conversion to Christ and longed to see her again. Aflame with impious passion, he came into the monastery in the guise of a monk and began to urge Eudokia to return to Heliopolis, and resume her former life. “May God rebuke you and not allow you to leave these premises,” Eudokia cried. Then the impostor fell down dead. Fearing that she had served as an accomplice to murder, the sisters intensified their prayer and besought the Lord to reveal to them His will.
The Lord appeared to Saint Eudokia in a vision and said: “Arise, Eudokia, and pray for the resurrection of the dead man.” Through Eudokia’s prayers, Philostrates revived. Having been restored to life, the pagan begged the nun to forgive him. After he was baptized, he went back to Heliopolis. From that time he never forgot the mercy of God shown him, and he started onto the way of repentance.
Some time passed, and another situation occurred. Inhabitants of Heliopolis reported to the governor Aurelian, that Eudokia had taken gold and silver out of the city and concealed it at the monastery. Aurelian sent a detachment of soldiers to confiscate these supposed treasures. For three days the soldiers tried in vain to approach the walls of the monastery, but an invisible power of God guarded it.
Aurelian again sent soldiers to the monastery, this time under the command of his own son. But on the very first day of the journey Aurelian’s son injured his leg and soon died. Then Philostrates counseled Aurelian to write to Mother Eudokia, imploring her to revive the youth. And the Lord, in His infinite mercy, and through the prayers of Saint Eudokia, restored the youth to life. Having witnessed this great miracle, Aurelian and his close associates believed in Christ and were baptized.
When persecutions against Christians intensified, they arrested Eudokia and brought her to the governor Diogenes to be tortured. While torturing the saint, the military commander Diodorus received news of the sudden death of his wife Firmina. In despair he rushed to Saint Eudokia with a plea to pray for his departed wife. The monastic martyr, filled with great faith, turned to God with prayer and besought Him to return Firmina to life. As eyewitnesses of the power and grace of the Lord, Diodorus and Diogenes believed in Christ and were baptized together with their families. Saint Eudokia lived for awhile at the house of Diodorus and enlightened the newly-illumined Christians.
Once,the only son of a certain widow, who was working in the garden, was bitten by a snake and died. The mother wept bitterly for her dead son, and asked Diodorus to resurrect him. Learning of her grief, Saint Eudokia said to Diodorus, “The time is at hand for you to show faith in the Almighty God, Who hears the prayers of penitent sinners and in His mercy grants them forgiveness.”
Diodorus was distressed, not considering himself worthy of such boldness before the Lord, but he obeyed Saint Eudokia. He prayed and in the name of Christ he commanded the dead one to rise, and before the eyes of everyone present the youth revived.
Saint Eudokia returned to her monastery, where she lived in asceticism for fifty-six years.
After Diogenes died the new governor was Vicentius, a fierce persecutor of Christians. Having learned of the accomplishments of the saint, he gave orders to execute her. The holy martyr was beheaded on March 1, 107.
Troparion of the saint, tone 8
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, 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!
Kontakion of the saint, 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.
Isaiah 2:11-21 (6th Hour)
- The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
- For the day of the Lord of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up – and it shall be brought low –
- upon all the cedars of Lebanon that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan;
- upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up;
- upon every high tower, and upon every fortified wall;
- upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all the beautiful sloops.
- The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day,
- but the idols He shall utterly abolish.
- They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, from the terror of the Lord and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily.
- In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which they made, each for himself to worship, to the moles and bats,
- to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the crags of the rugged rocks, from the terror of the Lord and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily.
Genesis 2:4-19 (Vespers, 1st reading)
- This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,
- before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground;
- but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.
- And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
- The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.
- And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
- Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads.
- The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.
- And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there.
- The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush.
- The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.
- Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.
- And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
- “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
- And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
- Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.
Proverbs 3:1-18 (Vespers, 2nd reading)
- My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands;
- for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.
- Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart,
- and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
- in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
- Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil.
- It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.
- Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase;
- so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.
- My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction;
- for whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.
- Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding;
- for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold.
- She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
- Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor.
- Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
- She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her.