The Departure of St. Euphrasia (Eupraxia), the virgin
On this day the blessed St. Euphrasia (Eupraxia) the virgin departed. She was the daughter of a noble family in the city of Rome, who was related to Emperor Honorius. Before her father's departure, he asked the Emperor to care for her.
Her mother went to Egypt to collect the revenues and rent of her estates and orchards, which her husband had left her. She took her daughter, who was nine years of age, with her, and they lodged in one of the houses of virgins. The nuns of that convent were on high degree of asceticism, piety and devoutness, they never ate food with meat, oil, fruits, at no time drank wine and slept on the floor.
Eupraxia loved the life in that convent, and she was pleased with the nun that served her. That nun told her: "Promise me that you will not leave this convent"; and she promised her that. When her mother finished her work that she came to achieve, her daughter refused to return with her and she said to her mother: "I have vowed myself to Christ, and I have no need for this world, for my true Bridegroom is the Lord Christ." When her mother knew that, she gave all her money and goods to the poor and needy, and she lived with her daughter in the convent for many years, then departed in peace.
When Emperor Honorius heard that, he sent asking for her. She answered back saying that she had vowed her self to the Lord Christ, and she can not break her covenant. The Emperor marvelled at her wisdom and righteousness and allowed her to stay.
Eupraxia contended strenuously in the ascetic life, she fasted two days at a time, then three, then four, and afterwards she fasted for a week at a time, and during the Holy Lent she did not eat anything which was cooked. Satan was jealous of her, and he smote her with an illness in her feet, gave her pain for a long time, until God had compassion on her and healed her. God granted her the gift of healing the sick, and she was beloved by all the sisters and the abbess for her humility and obedience to them.
One night the abbess saw in a vision crowns which had been prepared, and she asked: "Who are these for?", and she was told: "These crowns for your daughter Eupraxia, she will be coming to us after a short while." The abbess told the nuns of the vision which she had seen, and commanded them not to tell Eupraxia about it. When her time came to depart of this world, she fell sick of a slight fever. The abbess and the nuns gathered around St. Eupraxia and asked her to remember them before the Divine Throne, then she departed in peace.
Then right after her departure the nun her friend departed, and shortly after, the abbess fell sick, so she gathered the nuns and told them: "Choose whom will be abbess over you, for I am going to the Lord." When they came on the following morning to visit her, they found that she had departed.
May their prayers be with us. Amen.
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