Eugenia of Rome

● Orthodox Remembrance Day: December 24
● Name means: the noble born (from Greek)
● Abbot, Martyr
● Attributes: Coat, Sword
● Patroness: against deafness and obsession
● Born in Alexandria, Egypt
● Died around 258 in Rome, Italy
Eugenia, a young girl born in Rome, arrived in Alexandria with her family in the year 185, during
the reign of Emperor Commodus. Her father, Philip, was appointed as the Roman prefect in
Alexandria. Eugenia was privileged to receive a scientific education, and it was during her
studies that she discovered Christianity by reading letters written by the Apostle Paul.
After embracing Christianity, Eugenia was supported by two eunuchs, Protus and Hyacinthus,
who became her lifelong friends. She felt called to the monastic life and, disguised as a man,
entered a men’s monastery where she quickly rose to become the abbot at a young age.
Eugenia was a devout and disciplined leader, but her accomplishments would be met with
jealousy from others. A woman attempted to seduce Eugenia, who recoiled and rebuked her
advances. Angry at being rejected, the woman accused Eugenia of fornication and filed a
complaint with the prefect.
Eugenia trusted her father, Philip, with her true identity as a woman, which led to her family
becoming Christians. But, as a result of false accusations, she could no longer remain in the
monastery, and together with her family, she returned to Rome.
Unfortunately, Valerian and Gallienus, the emperors of Rome, began to persecute Christians,
and Eugenia, along with her father, Philip, and the two eunuchs, were sentenced to death. They
were all beheaded for their unwavering faith in Christianity.
Eugenia’s story speaks to her bravery and strong religious convictions, as well as the dangers
she faced as a female leader in a male-dominated world. Her life and legacy continue to inspire
Christians around the world to this day.