St. Xenia of Rome


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Commemorated on January 24

St. Xenia of Rome, in the world Eusebia, was the only daughter of an eminent Roman senator. From her youth she loved God, and wished to avoid a marriage that had been arranged for her. She secretly left her parent’s home with two servants, and set sail upon a ship. Through the Providence of God, she met the head of the monastery of the holy Apostle Andrew in Milassa, a town of Caria (Asia Minor). She asked him to take her and her companions to Milassa. She also changed her name, calling herself Xenia (which means “stranger” or foreigner” in Greek).

At Milassa, she bought land, built a church dedicated to St. Stephen, and founded a woman’s monastery. Soon after this, Bishop Paul of Milassa made Xenia a deaconess because of her virtuous life. She helped everyone – for the destitute, she was a benefactress; for the grief-stricken, a comforter; for sinners, a guide to repentance. She possessed a deep humility, accounting herself the worst and most sinful of all.

She was guided in her ascetic deeds by the counsels of the Palestinian ascetic, St. Euthymius. The sublime life of St. Xenia drew many souls to Christ. The holy virgin died in 450 while she was praying. During her funeral, a luminous wreath of stars surrounding a radiant cross appeared over the monastery in the heavens. This sign accompanied the body of the saint when it was carried into the city, and remained there until her burial. Many of the sick received healing after touching St. Xenia’s relics.

Troparion (Tone 8) –

In thee the image was preserved with exactness, O Mother;

For taking up they cross, thou didst follow Christ,

And by they deed thou didst teach us to overlook the flesh,

For it passeth away, but to attend to the soul since it is immortal.

Wherefore, O righteous Xenia, thy spirit rejoiceth with the Angels.

Kontakion (Tone 2) –

Celebrating the memorial of they life with thou didst live as a stranger, O Xenia,

And honoring thee with love, we praise Christ Who gave thee the power to

Grant healings to all. Every pray to Him for us all.

By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)