Born to the Roman nobility, the daughter of Antigonus, senator of Constantinople. Related to Roman Emperor Theodosius I who finished the conversion of Rome to a Christian state. Her father died soon after Euphrasia was born; she and her mother became wards of the emperor.
When Euphrasia was only five years old, the emperor arranged a marriage for her to the son of a senator. Two years later, she and her mother moved to their lands in Egypt. There, while still a child, Euphrasia entered a convent; her mother died soon after of natural causes, leaving the novice an orphan.
At age twelve Euphrasia was ordered by the emperor Aracdius, successor to Theodosius, to marry the senator’s son as arranged. Euphrasia requested that she be relieved of the marriage arrangement, that the emperor sell off her family property, and that he use the money to feed the poor and buy the freedom of slaves. Arcadius agreed, and Euphyrasia spent her life in the Egyptian convent.
Noted for her prayer life, and constant self-imposed fasting; she would sometimes spend the day carrying heavy stones from one place to another to exhaust her body and keep her mind off temptations. She suffered through gossip and false allegations, much of it the result of being a foreigner in her house. She is held up as a model by Saint John Damascene.
- 420 of natural causes
- Antiochian Orthodox Church of North America
- Book of Saints, by the Monks of Ramsgate
- Catholic Encyclopedia
- Catholic Online
- Glaubens Zeugen
- Kirken i Norge
- Lives of the Saints, by Father Alban Butler
- New Catholic Dictionary
- Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints
- “Saint Euphrasia“. Saints.SQPN.com. 12 March 2013. Web. 19 June 2013. <>