After the death of her husband, Saint Demetrios of the Don from the wounds he received at the Battle of Kulikovo, the Holy Princess Eudokia refrained from participating directly in the affairs of state, but on her advice, the wonderworking Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos was transferred from Vladimir to Moscow because of the invasion of Khan Tamerlane. Soon afterward, she established a Convent in the palace, dedicating it to the Lord's Ascension.
Though inclined toward the monastic Life, she did not become a nun at that time, since her sons were very young, and instead, she acted as regent. She dressed in royal splendor, attended banquets, and participated in councils. Beneath her expensive clothing, she wore iron chains, concealing her ascetic labors and acts of charity from those around her.
Shortly before her death, an angel appeared to her and informed her that her earthly life would end very soon. Then she became mute. By signs and gestures she made it known that she wished to have an icon of the Angel painted. When it was finished, Eudokia venerated it, and asked for another one to be painted. Only after the icons of the Archangel Michael were completed did she recognize the Angel who had appeared to her, and then she regained her voice.
The saint expressed a wish to be tonsured in order to spend her final days in seclusion and prayer. At that time she appeared to a blind man in a dream and promised to heal him.
On May 17, 1407, Princess Eudokia was on her way to the Convent, and the blind man was sitting by the roadside. Hearing her approach, he shouted, "Holy Great Princess, feeder of the poor! You always gave us food and clothing, and you never refused our requests! Do not disregard my petition now, but heal me of my blindness, as you promised in my dream! You told me, ‘Tomorrow I will give you sight.' Now the time has come for you to fulfill your promise."
She continued on her way, seeming not to understand his words, but as she passed by, she brushed him, as if by accident, with the sleeves of her cloak. The man pressed them to his eyes and regained his sight. According to Tradition, thirty people were healed of various illnesses on that day.
Princess Eudokia was tonsured with the name Euphrosynē, which means “joy” or "gladness" in Greek. Her tonsure took place in the wooden church of the Ascension at the Convent.
The saint reposed seven weeks after entering the Convent, departing to the Lord at the age of fifty-four on July 7, 1407. At her own request, she was buried in the church which she had started to build in the Kremlin, which was dedicated to the Ascension of Christ. Her wonderworking relics remained there until 1929.
She had been buried under the floor of the church with a cover over the grave. In 1922, after the Revolution, this cover was stolen by the Soviets, while saint Euphrosynē's relics remained in the grave under the floor. In 1929, the government decided to destroy the Ascension Convent. Thanks to the efforts of museum workers, her relics were saved along with the remains of other royal personages interred there. Her relics, however, have yet to be identified and separated from the others. The remains were interred in the Cathedral of the Archangel.
In 2006, construction of a church dedicated to saint Euphrosynē began in Moscow. It is located on the site of Great Prince Demetrios's palace. When it is completed, there are plans to tranfer her relics to this church.
From childhood, you were someone pleasing to God,
and leaving your radiant royal palace,
you arrived at the Convent you founded.
Having crossed the abyss of the sea of life,
now with the angels, you glorify Christ God in songs.
O venerable Euphrosynē,
do not cease to pray that He will always preserve your Convent,
and grant us peace and great mercy.
You scorned all the good things of this world as vain,
and exhausted your body with fasting and vigilance.
You pleased God with your unceasing prayers, O venerable Euphrosynē,
and receiving the gift of healing from Him,
you restored the sight of the blind man, and alleviated many other ailments.
Therefore, we cry out with joy,
“Glory to God, Who is wondrous in His Saints.”
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