Saint Pafnoutios

September 25

911paph4When 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.

Listen to the Saint’s life in Greek: