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SAINT EUDOCIA, MARTYR, OF HELIOPOLIS 9135
St Eudocia lived in the Phoenician city of Heliopolis (Samaria) during the reign of Trajan. Initially, Eudocia was a great debauchee, but afterward she was a penitent, an ascetic, and finally a martyr. Through her harlotry she amassed a huge fortune. The change in her life occurred inadvertently, through God’s providence and a certain elder, the monk Germanus. Having come into the city on an obedience, Germanus was residing at the home of a Christian whose house was adjacent to that of Eudocia. In the evening, according to monastic practice, he began to recite the Psalter and a book on the Dread Judgment. Eudocia heard him and eavesdropped attentively to the end. Fear and terror overcame her, and she remained awake until dawn. At daybreak she sent her servant to beseech the monk to come to her. Germanus came, and a lengthy conversation took place between them about what the elderly monk had been reading the night before, and about faith and salvation in general. As a result of their conversation, Eudocia petitioned the local bishop to baptize her. Following her baptism, Eudocia bequeathed her entire estate to the Church, to be distributed among the poor. After dismissing her servants and slaves, she withdrew to a convent. Thus, Eudocia resolved to dedicate herself to the monastic life: obedience, patience, vigils, prayer and fasting. After thirteen months Eudocia was elected abbess. She lived in the convent for fifty-six years and was found worthy before God. He endowed her with such grace that she even raised the dead. When the persecution of Christians began under Prince Vincent, St. Eudocia was beheaded. Eudocia is a glorious example of how a vessel of impurity can be purified, sanctified and filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit, the precious fragrance of heaven.