14 March 2022 (MIA)
Macedonian Orthodox Church Calendar
Our Holy Mother, the Martyr Eudocia
Living in Heliopolis, a city of Phoenicia, during the reign of Trajan, she was at first a great harlot, then a penitent, a nun and finally a martyr. She gained great wealth from her harlotry. The reversal of her life was brought about, through the providence of God, by an elderly monk, Germanus, and that unintentionally. Coming to Heliopolis in the course of his work, he stayed at the house of a Christian woman whose home abutted onto Eudocia’s. When at night he began, as was his monastic custom, to read the Psalter and a book on the Dreadful Judgement, Eudocia heard him and stood listening attentively to his every word until the end. Fear and dread took such hold on her that she remained awake until daybreak. As soon as it was dawn, she sent a servant to beg that monk to come to her. Germanus came, and they began a long conversation on that which the old monk had been reading the previous night, and especially on faith and salvation. The result of these discussions was that Eudocia asked the local bishop to baptise her. After her baptism, she gave all her goods to the church, to be distributed to the poor, dismissed her servants and slaves and retired to a woman’s monastery. She so devoted herself to the monastic life – to obedience, patience, vigils, prayer and fasting-that after thirteen months she was chosen as abbess. She lived fifty-six years in the monastery and was worthy in the eyes of God to be given the gift of raising the dead. When a persecution of Christians arose under the governor, Vin-cent, holy Eudocia was beheaded. Here is a wonderful example of how a vessel of uncleanness can be purified, sanctified and filled with a precious, heavenly fragrance by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
St. Mathilda was the daughter of Theodoric, a Saxon Count. At an early age she was placed in the monastery of Erfurt under the care of Maud, her grandmother, who was Abbess of the monastery which she had entered after the death of her husband. Here St. Mathilda learned needlework and acquired the love of labour, prayer and spiritual reading. She remained in the convent until her parents gave her in marriage, in 913, to Henry “the Fowler,” so called from his fondness for hawking. He became Duke in 916 on the death of his father, and in 919 he was chosen to succeed Conrad as King of Germany. The pious Queen adorned the throne by her many virtues. She visited and comforted the sick and the afflicted, instructed the ignorant, succoured prisoners, and endeavoured to convert sinners, and her husband concurred with her in her pious undertakings. After twenty-three years of married life King Henry died, in 936. No sooner had he expired than she had a Mass offered up for the repose of his soul, and from that moment she renounced all worldly pomp. Of her three sons, Otto afterward became Emperor, Henry was Duke of Bavaria, and St. Bruno edified the Church as Archbishop of Cologne. Otto became King of Germany in 937, and in 962 he was crowned Emperor at Rome. In the contest between her two sons, Otto and Henry, for the crown, which was elective, the Queen favored the former, a fault she expiated by great suffering, for both these sons subjected her to a long and cruel persecution. She died in 968. Her feast day is March 14th.