St Euphrosyne Healing Oil
The St Euphrosyne healing oil dedicated to Saint Euphrosyne, a female saint who adopted male attire and lived at a local monastery as an ascetic. Her feast day celebrated both in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches on 25 September.
St Euphrosyne 1 Healing was the beloved only daughter of a rich man of Alexandria, miraculously born in her parents’ old age in answer to a monk’s prayer. Her loving father, Paphnutius, desired to marry her to a wealthy youth.
But having already consecrated her life to God and under pressure to break her vow, she dressed as a man and assumed the identity of “Smaragdus” (“emerald”). She then escaped to a nearby men’s monastery, where she made rapid strides toward a perfected ascetic life.
Paphnutius received from his own daughter, whom he had failed to recognize, helpful advice and comforting exhortation. Not until she was dying did Euphrosyne reveal herself to him as his lost daughter. After burying her, Paphnutius gave up all his worldly goods and became a monk in the same monastery. There, he used his daughter’s old cell until his own death ten years after.
Died about 470. Her story belongs to that group of legends which relate how Christian virgins. In order the more successfully to lead the life of celibacy and asceticism to which they had dedicated themselves, put on male attire and passed for men.