Euphrasia, St.

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Virgin and ascetic; b. Constantinople, 380; d. c. 410. Euphrasia was the daughter of a senator of Constantinople, Antigonus, who died shortly after her birth, and was related to the Emperor theodosius i (379395), who took her and her mother under his protection. Theodosius arranged a betrothal for Euphrasia, at the age of five, to the son of a wealthy senator. Two years later she and her mother withdrew from the court to Egypt, where they settled near a convent of nuns. At age seven Euphrasia, at her own insistence, was given over to the care of the nuns to be trained in the ascetic life; and at 12 she declined her betrothed, who then desired marriage. An heiress, she transferred her fortune to the emperor, probably arcadius (395408), to be used for charity. She died at the age of 30; St. john damascene mentions her in his third Oratio de imaginibus.

Feast: March 13; July 24 and 25 (Orthodox Church).

Bibliography: g. de jerphanion, Analecta Bollandiana 55 (1937) 7. Bibliotheca hagiographica Graeca, ed. f. halkin, (Brussels 1957) 3:631. Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae ct mediae aetatis (Brussels 18981901) 271821.

[e. d. carter]