March 13. euphrasia, filthy and penitent
Lived 382 to 412
Born into noble parentage, Euphrasia and her widowed mother were wards of the emperor. When she was five years old, the emperor arranged Euphrasia's marriage. To escape future wifedom, Euphrasia and her mother withdrew together to Egypt, where Euphrasia adopted a nun's austere mode of life like a champ. When her mother passed away, Euphrasia requested that the emperor sell off her family property and use the money to feed the poor and free some slaves. The emperor agreed, and Euphrasia spent her life in the Egyptian convent, where she partook of food just one time per week.
UH OH IMPURITIES
Euphrasia's love for the Heavenly Bridgegroom convinced the abbess that she was ready to become a nun at just twelve years of age. However, as a teen, Euphrasia was bothered by impure dreams and fantasies. She learned to overcome them through confession.
In Euphrasia's era, due to the popularity of public baths that Christians regarded as cesspools, personal dirtiness was next to godliness. "The cleanliness of the body was regarded as a polution of the soul, and the saints who were most admired had become one mass of clotted filth." As such, the 130 nuns in Euphrasia's convent never washed their feet and were repulsed at the mention of the word bath.
The Enemy of the Human Race caused Euphrasia much misfortune. Satan was jealous of her, and he smote her with an illness of the feet until God took pity and cured her. Once, while fetching water, she fell into a well. Another time, she tripped on her hem, toppled from a ladder, and was cut by a splinter near her eyes. Euphrasia transformed her difficulties, like cutting her foot or her leg with an ax while chopping wood, into opportunities to become stronger and purer.
Whenever temptation assaulted Euphrasia, she occupied herself with humbling and penitential labors with the aim of exhausting her body and busying her mind. Once she moved a pile of great rocks from one place to another, continuing for thirty days with "wonderful simplicity," until the Devil, "vanquished by her humble obedience," took his leave of her.
Once, a deaf and paralyzed boy was healed by her prayers. Another time, a demon-possessed woman was set free by her intercessions.