Ἀφιερωμένο στόν Κύριό μας Ἱησοῦ Χριστό καί τήν Ὑπεραγία Θεοτόκο
St Euthymius the Great. The Desert Sun.
St Euthymius the Great
Commemorated on January 20
Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
As much as the saints were so compassionate and lenient toward human weakness, so were they terribly unyielding and unbending in regard to the confession of the true dogmas of the Faith. Thus, St. Nicholas of Myra in Lycia struck Arius with his fist at the First Ecumenical Council [Nicaea, 325 A.D.]. St. Anthony left his desert to come to Alexandria to publicly unmask Arius. St. Euthymius, being greatly pressured by the Empress Eudocia and the pseudo-Patriarch Theodosius and being unable to debate rationally with them, left the monastery and hid in the desert. All other distinguished monks followed his example. Euthymius remained in the desert until the pseudo-patriarch was ousted and Orthodoxy strengthened.When, in Jerusalem, the greatest agitation surfaced in the name of the emperor against the Fourth Ecumenical Council [Chalcedon, 451 A.D.] and when the entire population was frightened by the heretics, then St. Theodosius the Great already burdened with old age, as a fearless soldier of Christ, came to Jerusalem, entered the Great Church, ascended the stairs, waved his hands and said to the people, “If anyone does not respect the Fourth Ecumenical Council as he does the four evangelists, let him be anathema.” (Until this time, only four Ecumenical Councils had been convened). All of those listeners were frightened by those words and none of the heretics dared to say anything contrary to those words.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič for Old Calendar date January 20, and New Calendar date February 2
St Euthymius filled his days and nights with prayer, internal thoughts about God, contemplation and physical exertion. Around him many disciples gathered some of whom are glorious saints, such as Cyriac the Hermit, St. Sabas the Sanctified, Theotictus and others. By God’s gift, Euthymius was a great miracle worker; He also said that it was not good for a monk to move from place to place, for he said, ” A tree frequently transplanted does not bear fruit. Whoever desires to do good, can do it from the place where he is.” About love, he said, “What salt is to bread, love is to other virtues.” During the first week of the Honorable Fast [Lenten Season], he retreated to the desert and remained there in solitary silence and godly-thoughts until just before the Feast of the Resurrection. He died in the year 473 A.D.
Troparion St Euthymius the Great. Tone 4
Rejoice, O barren wilderness! And be glad, sterile desert, that has never known the travail of birth! The man of desires has multiplied your sons; He has planted them in faith and piety. He has watered them with the Holy Spirit: They grow in self-denial and perfect virtue. Through His intercessions, O Christ God, preserve Your people in peace!