SATURDAY, MAY 23, 2015

St. Euphrosyne was born in Polacak, Belorussia, in 1110, and died 1173.

Pradslava, the only East Slav virgin saint, was the granddaughter of Prince Polacak Usiaslau, from whom she inherited a strong will and a determined spirit. As proof of this and of her determination to devote her life to God, she refused all marriage proposals and, finally ran away to join her aunt's convent, Holy Wisdom. There she took the veil and the name Euphrosyne, and the money Euphrosyne earned by copying books, she distributed to the poor.

Later she founded and ruled her own convent, Holy Savior, as well as a monastery. In trying to convince her father, Prince Sviataslau, to allow her sister Hardzislava join her at the convent, she argued that in joining,. Hardzislava would learn to read and write. She was also joined there by two nieces and a cousin.

Euphrosyne commissioned the making of a beautiful, gem-studded cross, which she gave to Holy Savior Church in 1161. It disappeared without a trace during World War II. Late in life, Euphrosyne made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where she died. After the conquest of Jerusalem by Saladin in 1187, her relics were transferred to the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev, Ukraine.

In 1910, they were returned to Polacak (Nadson).


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