Eugenia


Origin: Latin, Greek
Gender: Female
Meaning: "Well Born"
Pronunciation: yoo-JEEN-ee-ah, yoo-JEEN-yah
Other Forms: Eugeneia,  Eugénie, Yevgeniya, Eukene, Uxía; Eugene, Eugenios, Owen, Eugen

Our Holiday names come to a close with the name of a Saint whose Feast is on Christmas day.

Eugenia of Rome, according to the popular rendition of her story, was the daughter of Philip, a Duke of Alexandria and Governor of Egypt. She left her father's home, dressed as a man, and was baptized by Helenus, a Bishop of Heliopolis, and later became an Abbot, still under her disguise. Eugenia would later cure a woman of her illness, and when the woman made sexual advances towards her, which she declined. That woman, incensed and embarrassed, made a public accusation, that would bring her before the court. She declared Eugenia an adulterer, and came before the judge, her father, still as a man. When it was revealed she was not only a woman but his very daughter, she was instantly exonerated. Her father himself converted to the faith, becoming Bishop of Alexandria, only to be killed for it by the Emperor. 

Eugenia went on to convert many others. On September 11th of 258, Christ appeared to her in a dream, telling her that she would killed on the Feast of the Nativity. On December 25th of the same year, Eugenia, along with Saints Hyacinth and Protus, was beheaded.

The name Eugenia is the feminine form of Eugene, which is the Latin form of the Greek Eugenios, meaning "Well Born". Though occasionally used in the Middle Ages, Eugenia didn't come into popularity until the 19th century, but is not used often today. A beautiful, romantic girls name with lots of history and a lovely sound - I think Eugenia is ripe for revival.

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