When the Venerable Euphrosyne of Alexandria came of age, her father (the future Saint Paphnutius) wanted her to marry, but she wholeheartedly desired to become a monastic. Secretly fleeing her father’s house, she went to a male monastery dressed as a eunuch called Smaragdus. She chose a male monastery, feeling that her father would find her if she was hidden in a female one. Her father eventually came to this monastery, distraught and asking for consolation for his lost daughter. The abbot recommended he talk to the eunuch Smaragdus (not knowing that this was his actual daughter). Saint Paphnutius poured his heart out on many occasions to the “monk” and only after 38 years in strict asceticism and solitude did the Holy Euphrosyne reveal to her father her true identity. This was on her deathbed, asking that only he prepare her for her body for burial. Having reverently buried his daughter, Saint Paphnutius then distributed his wealth and accepted tonsure, struggling in the very cell his daughter occupied until his eventual martyrdom.
Ἦχος πλ. α’. Τὸν συνάναρχον Λόγον.
Ὡς παρθένος φρόνιμη καὶ ἀδιάφθορος, κοτηγγυήθης ὁσίως τῷ Ζωοδότῃ Χριστῷ, καὶ προσκαίρων τὴν χλιδὴν ἐμφρόνως ἔλιπες, ὅθεν ἐν μέσω τῶν ἀνδρῶν, ὡς ἀμόλυντος ἀμνάς, ἐξέλαμψας Εὐφροσύνη, καὶ τοῦ Βελίαρ τὰ κέντρα, τὴ πολιτεία σου ἀπήμβλυνας.
Ἦχος β’. Τὰ ἄνω ζητῶν.
Τῆς ἄνω ζωῆς, τυχεῖν ἐπιποθήσασα, τὴν κάτω τρυφήν, σπουδαίως καταλέλοιπας, καὶ σαυτὴν ἀνέμιξας, ἀνάμεσον ἀνδρῶν παναοίδιμε· διὰ Χριστὸν γὰρ τὸν νυμφίον σου, μνηστῆρος προσκαίρου κατεφρόνησας.
Troparion — Tone 1
As an ascetic you hid your womanhood / And your falling-asleep was an amazement, O Euphrosyne. / Though a woman, you toiled as a man, / And by your prayers you save those who honor you!
Kontakion — Tone 2
Desiring the life on high and forsaking all earthly pleasures, / You lived as a man among men, O Euphrosyne. / For the sake of Christ your Bridegroom, / You spurned earthly betrothal!