Friday, November 9, 2018

Synaxarion of Saints Eustolia and Sopatra

Sts. Eustolia and Sopatra (Feast Day - November 9)

Verses

To Eustolia.
Being all beautiful you advanced to God the Word,
Having adorned your soul with adornments Eustolia.

To Sopatra.
The throne of the Father the Spirit and the Word,
Sopatra stood before while her flesh was bound to the earth.

Eustolia lived during the reign of Emperor Maurice (582-602), and was the daughter of pious parents from Rome. At a young age she went to a monastery, where she occupied herself with fasting and vigils. Inflamed with divine eros, she left Rome and went to Constantinople. Having gone around to all the holy churches there, and having fulfilled her sacred desire, she went to the Church of the Theotokos at Blachernae, where she found Sopatra, the daughter of Emperor Maurice. Because virtue cannot be hidden, Sopatra begged blessed Eustolia, who was virtuous, to have her as a spiritual mother and a guardian of her soul.*

The renowned Sopatra therefore abandoned the royalty of her father with all royal glories and pleasures, was dressed in the monastic schema, and entered into spiritual struggles and labors. Having asked of her father a suitable place, she built a church for prayer with the Venerable Eustolia. Many women who were pious and virgins went there, occupying themselves with them in the difficult and laborious life of monastic conduct. Blessed Eustolia, having struggled for many years, bringing salvation to many, departed to the Lord in peace, leaving behind the renowned Sopatra the princess as a successor in struggles. She also, having likewise struggled with her spiritual mother Eustolia, arrived at the pinnacle of virtue, and departed to the Lord in peace.**

Notes:

* Emperor Maurice was murdered on 27 November 602. The deposed emperor was forced to watch his six sons executed before he was beheaded himself. Empress Constantina, his wife, and her three daughters were spared and sent to a monastery. It is not known if one of these was Sopatra or she was another unknown to historians who became a monastic prior to Maurice's murder, but the three daughters were named Anastasia, Theoktista and Cleopatra.

** Eustolia died in 610, while Sopatra died in 625.

St. Eustolia

St. Sopatra


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