FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:
Righteous Euthymios the Great
Zacharias the New Martyr of Patra
Τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρός Εὐθυμίου τοῦ Μεγάλου.
Τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἱερομάρτυρος Ἰωάννου Sarv.
READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:
The Reading is from St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 4:6-15
Brethren, it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, "I believed, and so I spoke," we too believed, and so we speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into His presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
Πρὸς Κορινθίους β' 4:6-15
Ἀδελφοί, ὁ θεὸς ὁ εἰπὼν ἐκ σκότους φῶς λάμψαι, ὃς ἔλαμψεν ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ἡμῶν πρὸς φωτισμὸν τῆς γνώσεως τῆς δόξης τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν προσώπῳ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. Ἔχομεν δὲ τὸν θησαυρὸν τοῦτον ἐν ὀστρακίνοις σκεύεσιν, ἵνα ἡ ὑπερβολὴ τῆς δυνάμεως ᾖ τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ μὴ ἐξ ἡμῶν· ἐν παντὶ θλιβόμενοι, ἀλλʼ οὐ στενοχωρούμενοι· ἀπορούμενοι, ἀλλʼ οὐκ ἐξαπορούμενοι· διωκόμενοι, ἀλλʼ οὐκ ἐγκαταλειπόμενοι· καταβαλλόμενοι, ἀλλʼ οὐκ ἀπολλύμενοι· πάντοτε τὴν νέκρωσιν τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ ἐν τῷ σώματι περιφέροντες, ἵνα καὶ ἡ ζωὴ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἐν τῷ σώματι ἡμῶν φανερωθῇ. Ἀεὶ γὰρ ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες εἰς θάνατον παραδιδόμεθα διὰ Ἰησοῦν, ἵνα καὶ ἡ ζωὴ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ φανερωθῇ ἐν τῇ θνητῇ σαρκὶ ἡμῶν. Ὥστε ὁ μὲν θάνατος ἐν ἡμῖν ἐνεργεῖται, ἡ δὲ ζωὴ ἐν ὑμῖν. Ἔχοντες δὲ τὸ αὐτὸ πνεῦμα τῆς πίστεως, κατὰ τὸ γεγραμμένον, Ἐπίστευσα, διὸ ἐλάλησα, καὶ ἡμεῖς πιστεύομεν, διὸ καὶ λαλοῦμεν· εἰδότες ὅτι ὁ ἐγείρας τὸν κύριον Ἰησοῦν καὶ ἡμᾶς διὰ Ἰησοῦ ἐγερεῖ, καὶ παραστήσει σὺν ὑμῖν. Τὰ γὰρ πάντα διʼ ὑμᾶς, ἵνα ἡ χάρις πλεονάσασα διὰ τῶν πλειόνων τὴν εὐχαριστίαν περισσεύσῃ εἰς τὴν δόξαν τοῦ θεοῦ.
The Reading is from Luke 6:17-23
At that time, Jesus stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came forth from him and healed them all. And he lifted up his eyes on His disciples, and said: "Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God. Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven."
Κατὰ Λουκᾶν 6.17-23
Τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, ἔστη ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐπὶ τόπου πεδινοῦ, καὶ ὄχλος μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ, καὶ πλῆθος πολὺ τοῦ λαοῦ ἀπὸ πάσης τῆς ᾿Ιουδαίας καὶ ῾Ιερουσαλὴμ καὶ τῆς παραλίου Τύρου καὶ Σιδῶνος, οἳ ἦλθον ἀκοῦσαι αὐτοῦ καὶ ἰαθῆναι ἀπὸ τῶν νόσων αὐτῶν,καὶ οἱ ὀχλούμενοι ἀπὸ πνευμάτων ἀκαθάρτων, καὶ ἐθεραπεύοντο·καὶ πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἐζήτει ἅπτεσθαι αὐτοῦ, ὅτι δύναμις παρ᾿ αὐτοῦ ἐξήρχετο καὶ ἰᾶτο πάντας. Καὶ αὐτὸς ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ εἰς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἔλεγε· Mακάριοι οἱ πτωχοί, ὅτι ὑμετέρα ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ. μακάριοι οἱ πεινῶντες νῦν, ὅτι χορτασθήσεσθε. μακάριοι οἱ κλαίοντες νῦν, ὅτι γελάσετε. μακάριοί ἐστε ὅταν μισήσωσιν ὑμᾶς οἱ ἄνθρωποι, καὶ ὅταν ἀφορίσωσιν ὑμᾶς καὶ ὀνειδίσωσι καὶ ἐκβάλωσι τὸ ὄνομα ὑμῶν ὡς πονηρὸν ἕνεκα τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου. χάρητε ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ καὶ σκιρτήσατε· ἰδοὺ γὰρ ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολὺς ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ· κατὰ τὰ αὐτὰ γὰρ ἐποίουν τοῖς προφήταις οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν.
READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:
Τῇ Κ' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, Μνήμη τοῦ Ὁσίου Πατρὸς ἡμῶν Εὐθυμίου τοῦ Μεγάλου.
Τὶ κοινὸν Εὐθύμιε σοὶ καὶ τῷ βίῳ;
Πρὸς Ἀγγέλους ἄπαιρε τοὺς ξένους βίου
Λῆξε βίου Εὐθύμιος εἰκάδι ἠϋγένειος.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων Μαρτύρων Βάσσου, Εὐσεβίου, Εὐτυχίου καὶ Βασιλίδου.
Χεῖρας Βάσσου τέμνουσι χεῖρες δημίων,
Χεῖρες βέβηλοι, χεῖρας ἡγιασμένας.
Τμηθεὶς πέλυξιν Εὐσέβιος πᾶν μέλος,
Τὴν Ὀρθόδοξον Πίστιν ἄτρωτος μένει.
Εὐτύχιον διεῖλον εἰς μέρη τρία,
θείως Θεοῦ Πρόσωπα τιμῶντα τρία.
Ἀπορραγῆναι μὴ θέλων Βασιλίδης,
Μοίρας Ἀθλητῶν, ἐρράγη τὴν γαστέρα.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τῶν Ἁγίων Μαρτύρων Ἰννᾶ, Πιννᾶ, καὶ Ῥιμμᾶ.
Θάλψις δεχέσθω τοὺς Ἀθλητὰς τοῦ κρύους,
Ἰννᾶν, Πιννᾶν, Ῥιμμᾶν τε τοὺς κρυσταλλίνους.
Τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ, Μνήμη τοῦ μακαρίου Πέτρου τοῦ Τελώνου.
Καλεῖ σε Πέτρε Χριστὸς ἐκ τελωνίου
Πρὸς ἀρετὴν πρίν, νῦν δὲ πρὸς τρυφὴν πόλου.
Ταῖς αὐτῶν ἁγίαις πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεός, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.
This Saint, who was from Melitene in Armenia, was the son of pious parents named Paul and Dionysia. He was born about 377. Since his mother had been barren, he was named Euthymios-which means "good cheer" or "joy"-for this is what his parents experienced at his birth. He studied under Eutroius, the Bishop of Melitene, by whom he was ordained and entrusted with the care of the monasteries of Melitene. Then, after he had come to Palestine about the year 406, he became the leader of a multitude of monks. Through him, a great tribe of Arabs was turned to piety, when he healed the ailing son of their leader Aspebetos. Aspebetos was baptized with all his people; he took the Christian name of Peter, and was later consecrated Bishop for his tribe, being called "Bishop of the Tents." Saint Euthymios also fought against the Nestorians, Eutychians, and Manichaeans. When Eudocia, the widow of Saint Theodosius the Younger, had made her dwelling in Palestine, and had fallen into the heresy of the Monophysites which was championed in Palestine by a certain Theodosius, she sent envoys to Saint Symeon the Stylite in Syria (see Sept. 1), asking him his opinion of Eutyches and the Council of Chalcedon which had condemned him; Saint Symeon, praising the holiness and Orthodoxy of Saint Euthymios near whom she dwelt, sent her to him to be delivered from her error (the holy Empress Eudocia is commemorated Aug. 13). He became the divine oracle of the Church, or rather, "the vessel of divine utterance," as a certain historian writes. He was the instructor and elder of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified. Having lived for ninety-six years, he reposed in 473, on January 20.
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Εὐφραίνου ἔρημος ἡ οὐ τίκτουσα, εὐθύμησον ἡ οὐκ ὠδίνουσα, ὅτι ἐπλήθυνέ σοὶ τέκνα, ἀνὴρ ἐπιθυμιῶν τῶν τοῦ Πνεύματος, εὐσεβεία φυτεύσας, ἐγκρατεία ἐκθρέψας, εἰς ἀρετῶν τελειότητα. Ταὶς αὐτοῦ ἱκεσίαις, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, εἰρήνευσον τὴν ζωὴν ἡμῶν.
Be glad, O barren one, that hast not given birth; be of good cheer, thou that hast not travailed; for a man of desires hath multiplied thy children of the Spirit, having planted them in piety and reared them in continence to the perfection of the virtues. By his prayers, O Christ our God, make our life peaceful.
Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Ἐν τῇ σεπτὴ γεννήσει σου, χαρὰν ἡ κτίσις εὔρατο, καὶ ἐν τῇ θεία μνήμη σου Ὅσιε, τὴν εὐθυμίαν ἔλαβε τῶν πολλῶν σου θαυμάτων, ἐξ ὧν παράσχου πλουσίως ταίς ψυχαὶς ἡμῶν, καὶ ἀποκάθαρον ἁμαρτημάτων κηλῖδας, ὅπως ψάλλωμεν, Ἀλληλούϊα.
Creation found delight and joy in thine august nativity and the good cheer of thy numberless miracles on thy divine memorial. Now bestow thereof richly on our souls and wash clean the stains of our every sin, Euthymios most righteous, that we may chant: Alleluia!
Ο άγιος Ευθύμιος ο Μέγας, του οποίου σήμερα η Εκκλησία τιμά την μνήμη, είναι ο ασκητής της προσευχής, στον οποίον βρήκε εκπλήρωση ο λόγος του Χριστού στο Ευαγγέλιο· "Πάντα όσα εάν αιτήσητε εν τη προσευχή πιστεύοντες, λήψεσθε". Έζησε εξηνταοκτώ χρόνια ερημικής ζωής κι απέθανε σχεδόν εκατό ετών, αφού προείδε καθαρά τον θάνατό του. ΄Εν' από τα θαύματα, που έκαμε όταν ζούσε είναι ότι σε μια περίσταση ανάγκης, έθρεψε τετρακόσιους ταξιδιώτες, που έχασαν τον δρόμο τους και χτύπησαν την πόρτα του Μοναστηριού του. Ο Χριστός, που έθρεψε στην έρημο τις πέντε χιλιάδες, εβεβαίωσε κάποτε και είπε· "Ο πιστεύων εις εμέ τα έργα α εγώ ποιώ κακείνος ποιήσει...". Όταν οι άνθρωποι κάνουν γνωστά "μετ' ευχαριστίας" τα αιτήματά τους προς τον Θεό, όταν προσεύχωνται και ζητουν για σήμερα τον επιούσιο άρτο, ο άρτος αυτός ποτέ δεν τους λείπει. Ευλογεί ο Θεός.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Εὐθύμιος ὁ Μέγας
Γεννήθηκε ἀπὸ γονεῖς ποὺ εἶχαν μεγάλη πίστη καὶ θεάρεστη ζωή, τὸν Παῦλο καὶ τὴν Διονυσία, τὸ 377 στὴ Μελιτηνὴ τῆς Ἀρμενίας. Σὲ ἡλικία τριῶν χρόνων χάνει τὸν πατέρα του, ἀλλὰ ἡ μητέρα του ἦταν ἀπὸ ἐκεῖνες τὶς χῆρες γυναῖκες ποὺ διατήρησαν ὅλη τὴν ψυχική τους δύναμη καὶ μπόρεσαν νὰ ἀναδείξουν μεγάλα τὰ παιδιά τους. Ὁ ἐπίσκοπος Εὐτρώϊος διέκρινε τὰ χαρίσματα τοῦ παιδιοῦ καὶ τὸ προστάτευσε. Ἀφοῦ σπούδασε ὁ Εὐθύμιος, χειροτονεῖται διάκονος, καί, κατόπιν, Ἱερέας καὶ μάλιστα, κρίνεται κατάλληλος νὰ διευθύνει τὸ μοναστήρι τῆς Μελιτηνῆς. Πόθος του, ὅμως, ἦταν νὰ πάει στοὺς Ἁγίους Τόπους. Πράγματι, τὸ 406 ὁ Θεὸς τὸν ἀξιώνει καὶ πηγαίνει στὰ Ἱεροσόλυμα. Τὰ μεγάλα πνευματικὰ καὶ ἠθικὰ χαρίσματά του γρήγορα τὸν ἀνέδειξαν καὶ ἐκεῖ. Στὸ ἡσυχαστήριό του συγκεντρώνονται πολλοὶ ζηλωτὲς μοναχοὶ καὶ τὸν ἐκλέγουν ἡγούμενο. Τὸ νέο του ἀξίωμα ὁ Εὐθύμιος τὸ διαχειρίζεται σωστὰ καὶ ἀρχίζει συστηματικὴ Ἱεραποστολικὴ ἐργασία χριστιανικοῦ φωτισμοῦ μεταξὺ τῶν ἀραβικῶν πληθυσμῶν, φέρνοντας πολλοὺς Ἄραβες στὴ χριστιανικὴ πίστη. Ἔτσι, ὁ Εὐθύμιος «θέρισε» πολλὲς ψυχὲς στὸν πνευματικὸ ἀγρὸ τοῦ Χριστοῦ. Καὶ σύμφωνα μὲ τὸ λόγο τοῦ Κυρίου μας, «Ὁ θερίζων μισθὸν λαμβάνει καὶ συνάγει καρπὸν εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον». Δηλαδή, ἐκεῖνος ποὺ ἑλκύει ψυχὲς στὴ σωτηρία παίρνει μισθὸ καὶ ἀποθηκεύει καρπὸ γιὰ τὴν αἰώνια ζωή. Ὁ Εὐθύμιος, τὸ ἔτος 473 σὲ ἡλικία 97 ἐτῶν, παραδίδει τὸ πνεῦμα του στὸν Κύριο, ἀφοῦ τὸν ὑπηρέτησε μέχρι τέλους, καὶ δίκαια ὀνομάστηκε Μέγας.
(Στὸν Πατμιακὸ Κώδικα 266, κατὰ τὴν 7η τοῦ μηνὸς Μαΐου φέρεται «ἡ μετάθεσις τῶν λειψάνων τοῦ ὁσίου πατρὸς ἡμῶν Εὐθυμίου τοῦ Μεγάλου». Στὸν δὲ Συναξαριστὴ Delehaye σελ. 406, ἀναφέρεται κατὰ τὴν 19η Ἰανουαρίου, «ἐπάνοδος τοῦ λειψάνου τοῦ ἐν ἁγίοις πατρὸς ἡμῶν Εὐθυμίου»).
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Βάσσος, Εὐσέβιος, Εὐτύχιος καὶ Βασιλείδης
Ἦταν πλούσιοι καὶ συγκλητικοί. Μαρτύρησαν στὰ χρόνια τοῦ αὐτοκράτορα Διοκλητιανοῦ, στὶς ἀρχὲς τοῦ 4ου αἰῶνα. Ἐνῷ πρὶν ἦταν εἰδωλολάτρες, πῆραν ἀφορμὴ νὰ μελετήσουν τὴν χριστιανικὴ θρησκεία καὶ νὰ προσέλθουν σ᾿ αὐτή, ὅταν παρακολούθησαν τὸ μαρτύριο τοῦ ἐπισκόπου Θεοπέμπτου. Καὶ τὴν γνήσια καὶ ὁλόθερμη πίστη τους, ἐπικύρωσαν μὲ τὸ μαρτυρικό τους τέλος. Καταγγέλθηκαν σὰ χριστιανοί, δὲν τὸ ἀρνήθηκαν, ἄφοβοι δὲ καὶ πρόθυμοι βάδισαν στὸ στάδιο τοῦ μαρτυρίου. Στὴν ἀρχὴ τοὺς ἀφαίρεσαν τὶς ἐπίσημες ζῶνες τους, ἐμβλήματα τῶν συγκλητικῶν ἀξιωμάτων τους, διότι τάχα ἦταν ἀνάξιοι νὰ τὶς φέρουν. Ἀλλὰ ἐκεῖνοι χαίρονταν, διότι πίστευαν ὅτι εἶχαν γίνει συμπολῖτες τῶν Ἁγίων καὶ θὰ γίνονταν καὶ στεφανηφόροι του Χριστοῦ. Ἔτσι ὑπέστησαν γενναιότατα τὸ μαρτυρικὸ θάνατο ὡς ἑξῆς: τὸν μὲν Βάσσο, ἀφοῦ τὸν ἔβαλαν μέχρι τὰ γόνατα μέσα σὲ βόθρο, κατόπιν τοῦ ἔκοψαν τὰ χέρια καὶ στὴ συνέχεια διαμέλισαν ὅλο τὸ σῶμα του. Τοὺς δὲ Εὐσέβιο καὶ Εὐτύχιο, ἀφοῦ τους κρέμασαν ἀνάποδα, κατόπιν τοὺς διαμέλισαν μὲ τσεκούρια. Καὶ τέλος τὸν Βασιλείδη τὸν θανάτωσαν, ἀφοῦ τοῦ διέῤῥηξαν τὴν κοιλιὰ μὲ μαχαῖρι.
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Ἴννας, Πίννας καὶ Ῥίμμας
Κατάγονταν ἀπὸ τὸν Βοῤῥᾶ καὶ ὀνομάστηκαν κρυστάλλινοι, μαρτύρησαν ἀφοῦ τους ἔβαλαν, δεμένους σὲ ξύλο καὶ σὲ καιρὸ τρομερῆς παγωνιᾶς, μέσα σὲ παγωμένο ποτάμι. Φοβεροὶ καὶ ἀνυπόφοροι ἦταν οἱ πόνοι ποὺ δοκίμασε ἐκεῖ ἡ ὁλόγυμνη σάρκα τους. Ἀλλ᾿ ἡ ψυχή τους δὲν ἀπέβαλε τίποτα ἀπὸ τὴν θερμὴ εὐσέβειά τους. Καὶ ἔτσι πῆραν τὸ στεφάνι τοῦ μαρτυρίου.
Ὁ μακάριος Πέτρος ὁ τελώνης
Ἦταν Πατρίκιος στὸ ἀξίωμα καὶ διορισμένος ἐπὶ αὐτοκράτορος Ἰουστινιανοῦ διοικητὴς στὴν Ἀφρική. Δυστυχῶς κατεῖχε ἕνα θανάσιμο ἐλάττωμα, τὴν πλεονεξία. Κάποτε ὅμως ἔπεσε στὰ χέρια του τὸ ἱερὸ Εὐαγγέλιο καὶ ἀπὸ περιέργεια τὸ διάβασε. Τὸ θαῦμα ἔγινε! ἄνοιξαν τὰ μάτια του καὶ εἶδε ὅλη τὴν ἀσχήμια τῆς ζωῆς του. Καὶ μετὰ ἀπὸ ἕνα σημαδιακὸ ὄνειρο, μετάνιωσε εἰλικρινά, μοίρασε ὅλη του τὴν περιουσία στοὺς φτωχούς, παραιτήθηκε ἀπὸ τὸ ἐπικίνδυνο ἐπάγγελμά του καὶ ζοῦσε βοηθῶντας μὲ κάθε τρόπο τοὺς πάσχοντες. Ἔφτασε μάλιστα στὸ σημεῖο καὶ νὰ πουληθεῖ ἀκόμα σὰν δοῦλος γιὰ νὰ βοηθήσει μία οἰκογένεια ποὺ ὑπέφερε. Ἀργότερα πῆγε στὴν Ἱερουσαλήμ, προσκύνησε τοὺς ἁγίους Τόπους καὶ ἔπειτα πῆγε στὴν Κωνσταντινούπολη, ὅπου ἀπεβίωσε φτωχός, ἀλλὰ πλούσιος σὲ οὐρανίους θησαυρούς.
Οἱ Ἅγιοι Θύρσος καὶ Ἁγνὴ
Μάρτυρες ποὺ ἡ σύναξή τους τελεῖται κοντὰ στὶς Ἐλενιάνες.
Ὁ εὐσεβὴς Βασιλεύς Λέων ὁ Μέγας, ὁ Θράξ
Ὁ βασιλεὺς οὗτος Λέων ἔγινε μετὰ τὸν εὔσεβεστατον βασιλέα Μαρκιανόν. Τὴν εἰς τὸν θρόνον ἀνάῤῥησιν προείπεν εἰς αὐτὸν ἡ Θεοτόκος, ὅτε ἦτο εἰσέτι ἁπλοῦς ἰδιώτης. Τριπλοῦν δὲ τότε θαῦμα ἐγένετο ἤτοι α) ἡ ἀκουσθεῖσα φωνὴ τῆς Θεοτόκου ἡ ἀποκαλύψασα εἰς τὸν Λέοντα τὸ ἁγίασμα τῆς Ζωοδόχου Πηγῆς (Μπαλουκλῆ), β) ἡ πρόῤῥησις ὅτι ὁ Λέων θὰ γίνῃ βασιλεὺς καὶ γ) ἡ διὰ τοῦ Λέοντος θεραπεία τοῦ τυφλοῦ. Ἐφύλαττε δὲ ὁ Λέων οὗτος πολὺ τὴν Ὀρθόδοξον πίστιν, βεβαιώσας ἅπαντα τὰ κηρυχθέντα ὑπὸ τῶν προκατόχων του βασιλέων κατὰ τῶν αἱρετικῶν διατάγματα καὶ πρὸ πάντων τὰ τῆς ἐν Χαλκηδόνι Ἁγίας Τετάρτης Οἰκουμενικῆς Συνόδου θεσπίσματα -ὅθεν ἡ Ἐκκλησία ἐπὶ τῆς ἐποχῆς του ἦτο ἐν ἀνθηρῇ καταστάσει. Ἐθέσπισεν ἐπίσης νόμον δι᾿ οὗ ἀπηγορεύετο τὸ πωλεῖν, τὸ ἀγοράζειν καὶ τὸ ὀρχεῖσθαι ἐν ἡμέρᾳ Κυριακῇ. Οὗτος ἀνήγειρε καὶ τὸν Ναὸν τῆς Ζωοδόχου Πηγῆς, εἰς τὸν τόπον εἰς ὃν ἀνέβλυσε τὸ ἁγίασμα. Ζήσας δὲ ἔτη δέκα ἑπτὰ ἐπὶ τοῦ βασιλικοῦ θρόνου, ἐξεδήμησε πρὸς Κύριον ἐν ἔτει υοδ´ (474), προσβληθεῖς ὑπὸ ὑπερβολικῆς δυσεντερίας, ἐκ τῆς ὁποίας ἔγινε τὸ λείψανόν του ὡς φανός. Εἰς τὸν Ἅγιον τοῦτον βασιλέα Λέοντα ἐποίησε πλήρη Ἀκολουθίαν ὁ Ὑμνογράφος τῆς Μεγάλης Ἐκκλησίας Πατὴρ Γεράσιμος Μικραγιαννανίτης.
Ἡ Ἁγία Ἄννα
Μαρτύρησε στὴ Ῥώμη.
Ὁ Ἅγιος Ζαχαρίας νεομάρτυρας ἐξ Ἄρτης
Ὁ νεομάρτυρας αὐτὸς καταγόταν ἀπὸ τὰ μέρη τῆς Ἄρτας. Σὲ μικρὴ ἡλικία ἐξισλαμίστηκε καὶ ἀργότερα ἔφυγε στὴν παλιὰ Πάτρα, ὅπου ἔκανε τὴν τέχνη τοῦ γουναρᾶ. Σὲ κάποια στιγμὴ ὅμως μετάνιωσε εἰλικρινά, βρῆκε πνευματικό, ἐξομολογήθηκε τὸ ἁμάρτημα τῆς ἐξωμοσίας τοῦ καὶ ζήτησε τὴν ἄδεια νὰ μαρτυρήσει. Ὁ πνευματικὸς ὅμως, φοβούμενος μήπως ἀποκάμει ὁ μάρτυρας στὴ διάρκεια τῶν βασανιστηρίων, τὸν ἀπέτρεπε λέγοντάς του ὅτι, ἀπ᾿ τὴν στιγμὴ ποὺ ἦρθαν οἱ Ἀρβανῖτες στὸν Μοριᾶ ἔμαθαν στοὺς ντόπιους Τούρκους τόσους καὶ τέτοιους τρόπους βασανιστηρίων, ποὺ μπροστά τους ὠχριοῦν αὐτὰ τῶν πρώτων χριστιανῶν. Ὁ Ἅγιος ἀποκρίθηκε τότε στὸν πνευματικὸ λέγοντάς του ὅτι ἔχει τόση δίψα νὰ βασανιστεῖ γιὰ τὸν Χριστό, ποὺ γιὰ νὰ τὸν ξεδιψάσουν δὲν φτάνουν οὔτε αὐτὰ τὰ βασανιστήρια τῶν Ἀρβανιτῶν. Μπροστὰ στὰ λόγια αὐτὰ τῆς πίστης καὶ τῆς ἀγάπης πρὸς τὸν Χριστό, ὁ πνευματικὸς μετέδωσε τὰ ἄχραντα μυστήρια στὸν Ἅγιο καὶ τὸν εὐλόγησε. Τότε ὁ Ζαχαρίας ἀφοῦ πῆγε στὸ ἐργαστήρι του, πούλησε ὅλα τὰ ὑπάρχοντά του καὶ τὰ ἔδωσε ἐλεημοσύνη στοὺς φτωχούς. Ἔπειτα παρουσιάστηκε στὸν κριτὴ καὶ μὲ θάῤῥος ὁμολόγησε τὸν Χριστό. Ἐπειδὴ ὁ Κριτὴς δὲν μπόρεσε νὰ τὸν μεταπείσει οὔτε μὲ κολακεῖες, οὔτε μὲ φοβέρες, τὸν ἔστειλε στὸν ἐξουσιαστὴ τῆς πόλης. Αὐτός, μαζί με τοὺς ἀγάδες, ἀποφάσισε νὰ τὸν ῥίξουν στὴ φυλακὴ καὶ τρεῖς φορὲς τὴν ἡμέρα νὰ τὸν χτυπᾶνε δυνατά, ἔτσι ὥστε ἡ νὰ ἐπανέλθει στὴν πίστη τους ἤ νὰ ξεψυχήσει χωρὶς νὰ χυθεῖ αἷμα ἀπὸ τὸ σῶμα του. Ἔτσι ὁ Ἅγιος βασανίστηκε γιὰ πολλὲς ἡμέρες καὶ μὲ ἀξιοθαύμαστη καρτερία ὑπέμεινε τὰ φρικτὰ βασανιστήρια. Παρέδωσε τὸ πνεῦμα του στὶς 20 Ἰανουαρίου 1782 στὴν Πάτρα. Εἰκόνα τοῦ Ἁγίου σῴζεται στὴν Ἱερὰ Μονὴ «Κάτω Παναγιᾶς» Ἄρτᾳς.
Our Venerable Father Euthymius the Great (473)
'This Saint, who was from Melitine in Armenia, was the son of pious parents named Paul and Dionysia. He was born about 377. Since his mother had been barren, he was named Euthymius which means "good cheer" or "joy" for this is what his parents experienced at his birth. He studied under Eutroius, the Bishop of Melitene, by whom he was ordained and entrusted with the care of the monasteries of Melitene. Then, after he had come to Palestine about the year 406, he became the leader of a multitude of monks. Through him, a great tribe of Arabs was turned to piety, when he healed the ailing son of their leader Aspebetos. Aspebetos was baptized with all his people; he took the Christian name of Peter, and was later consecrated Bishop for his tribe, being called the "Bishop of the Tents." Saint Euthymius also fought against the Nestorians, Eutychians, and Manichaeans. When Eudocia, the widow of Saint Theodosius the Younger, had made her dwelling in Palestine, and had fallen into the heresy of the Monophysites which was championed in Palestine by a certain Theodosius, she sent envoys to Saint Symeon the Stylite in Syria (see Sept.1), asking him his opinion of Eutyches and the Council of Chalcedon which had condemned him; Saint Symeon, praising the holiness and Orthodoxy of Saint Euthymius near whom she dwelt, sent her to him to be delivered from her error (the holy Empress Eudocia is commemorated Aug. 13). He became the divine oracle of the Church, or rather, "the vessel of divine utterance," as a certain historian writes. He was the instructor and elder of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified. Having lived for ninety-six years, he reposed in 473, on January 20.' (Great Horologion)
Holy Martyrs Inna, Pinna and Rimma (Nirra) (1st – 2nd c.)
They were disciples of Saint Andrew the Apostle, the first missionary to the lands north of the Black Sea. They witnessed to Christ around the Danube River and converted many to the Faith. They were arrested and condemned, and died immersed to their necks in icy water.
In the Prologue, St Nikolai Velimirovich describes them as the “first Slavic martyrs mentioned in history.” In ancient martyrologies they are referred to as Scythians, a term applied to the peoples living around the Black Sea in the early Christian era. It is doubtful that they were members of the Slavic people as we understand them today, though it seems that they were the first martyrs in the lands that are now inhabited by the Slavic people.
Saint Peter the Tax Collector (6th c.)
""Saint Peter, being of patrician rank, was appointed by the Emperor Justinian (527-65) to administer the Roman province of Africa. Harsh and without an ounce of compassion, he became universally known as 'the Miser'. One day a beggar was importuning him insistently for alms, so he picked up one of the warm loaves which his servant had just brought in and threw it like a stone at his head. The beggar seized it with delight and made off. Two days later Peter suddenly fell ill with the fever and saw himself appear at the Last Judgment to give an account of all his deeds. A pair of scales was brought before him and swarthy creatures placed all his evil actions on to the left-hand dish, while bright angels stood to the right, in dismay at having nothing by way of a good deed to put on to the right-hand side except the loaf which he had thrown in anger at the beggar. Peter then woke up with a start and, forgetful of his illness, hastened to give away all his goods to the needy, even his clothing. Afterwards in a dream, he saw Christ wearing the clothes he had given away, and so he decided not to stop at that but to sell himself as slave to a goldsmith in order to give alms of the price paid for him. Some time later, fearing lest his identity be discovered, he fled to Jerusalem and thence to Constantinople, where he gave back his soul in peace to God in his old house." (Synaxarion)
The source of this story is the longer Life of St John the Merciful (November 12).
The Monk Euthymios the Great came from the city of Meletina in Armenia, near the River Euphrates. His parents, Paul and Dionysia, were illustrious people and pious christians. For a long time they did not have children, and finally through fervent prayer a son was born to them, whose appearance into the light of day was preceded by a Divine apparition foretelling a great future for the child.
The father of the Monk Euthymios soon died, and his mother -- fulfilling a vow to dedicate her son to God -- gave him over for educating to her brother, the Monk Eudoxios. He presented the lad to the bishop of the Meletina Church, Otreos, who with love took upon himself caring for him. Seeing his good conduct, the bishop soon made him a reader. Saint Euthymios later accepted monasticism and was ordained to the dignity of presbyter. At the same time, he was entrusted with the stewardship of all the city monasteries. The Monk Euthymios often visited the monastery of saint Polieuktos, and during the days of Great Lent he withdrew into the wilderness. The position of steward of the monasteries weighed heavily upon the ascetic seeking quietude, and in his 30th year of life he secretly left the city and headed to Jerusalem where, having prostrated himself before the holy places, he withdrew into the Tharan Lavra. Having found outside the monastery a solitary empty abode, he settled into it, securing his subsistence by weaving baskets. Nearby, the Monk Theoktistos pursued asceticism. They had both one striving for God, one will, one purpose. Usually after the feast of Theophany, they withdrew into the Kutilleia wilderness (not far from Jericho). One day though they left there, having chosen a place in the mountains difficult of access, and settled into a cave. The Lord however soon revealed their solitary place for the benefit of many people: shepherds driving their flocks came upon the cave and told about it in the village. People seeking spiritual benefit began to throng to the hermits. Gradually a monastic community grew up -- several monks came from the Tharan monastery, among them Marin and Luke. The Monk Euthymios entrusted the running of the growing monastery to his friend Theoktistos, and himself became a spiritual brother. He exhorted the brethren: "Know, that one desiring to lead a monastic life ought not to have his own will, he is always to be found in obedience and humility and to be mindful of the thought of death, to fear the Judgement and the eternal fire and to desire the Heavenly Kingdom".
The monk commanded young monastics to tackle bodily labour with an inner thought of God. "If laymen, -- he said, -- work much, in order to feed themselves and their families, and besides this, they give alms and offer sacrifice to God, then all the moreso ought we as monks to work, so as to avoid idleness and not be nourished by the work of strangers". The abba demanded, that the monks keep silence in church during Divine-services and at meals. He did not allow young monks, wishing to fast more than others of the brethren, to follow their own will, but urged them to partake of all the food at meals with temperance, not having over-eaten.
In these years the Monk Euthymios converted and baptised many Arabs, among whom was the military-head Aspevet and his son Terevon, whom the Monk Euthymios healed from sickness. Aspevet received the name Peter in Baptism and afterwards he was a bishop amongst the Arabs.
The fame of the miracles accomplished by the Monk Euthymios spread quickly. People began to throng from everywhere; brought with sickness, they received healing. Unable to bear human fame and glory, the monk secretly left the monastery, -- taking with him only his closest student Dometian. He withdrew into the Ruv wilderness and settled on the high mountain of Mardes, around about the Dead Sea. In the quests for solitude the monk explored the Zeph wilderness and settled in the cave, where formerly holy king David hid from the pursuit of king Saul. The Monk Euthymios founded there a monastery, and at the cave of David he established a church. During this time the Monk Euthymios converted many monks in the wilderness from the Manichaean heresy, he worked miracles, healed the sick and cast out devils.
Visitors to the saint disturbed the tranquillity of the wilderness; loving silence, he decided to return to the monastery of Saint Theoktistos that he had forsaken. Along the way the monk took a fancy to a solitary place on a mountain and he remained on it. There afterwards his holy body was buried.
Blessed Theoktistos went out with his brethren to the Monk Euthymios and requested him to return to the monastery, but the monk did not comply. However, he promised to come to the monastery on Sundays for community Divine-services.
The Monk Euthymios did not wish to have anyone nearby, nor to organise a general monastery or lavra, but in a vision the Lord commanded him not to drive away those who were come to him for the salvation of their souls. After some time brethren again gathered around him, and he organised a Lavra, on the pattern of the Tharan Lavra. In the year 429, when the monk Euthymios was 52 years old, the Jerusalem Patriarch Juvenalios consecrated the lavra church and supplied it with presbyters and deacons.
The lavra was at first poor, but the monk steadfastly trusted on God to send down all the necessities for people. Once there came to the lavra about 400 male pilgrims -- Armenians from Jerusalem who were starving. Viewing this, the Monk Euthymios summoned the steward and ordered him to feed the wanderers. The steward answered that there was no such quantity of food in the monastery. The monk, however, persisted. Going to the room where the bread was kept, the steward found there a large quantity of bread. With this came forth wine and oil. The wanderers ate to the glory of God: they ate their fill and after this there remained a three-month supply of food for the brethren. Thus the Lord wrought a miracle through the faith of Saint Euthymios.
Once one of the monastics refused to carry out an obedience assigned to him. Despite the fact that the monk having summoned him urged him to comply, the monastic remained obstinate. The monk then shouted loudly: "Thou wilt see what the reward for disobedience is". The monastic fell to the ground in a fit of raving. The brethren began to make entreaty to the abba for him, and then the Monk Euthymios healed the insubordinate one who, having come to himself, asked forgiveness and promised to improve himself. "Obedience, -- said Saint Euthymios, -- is a great virtue. The Lord loves obedience more than sacrifice, but disobedience leads to death".
Two of the brethren in the monastery of Saint Euthymios became overwhelmed by the austere form of life and they resolved to flee. Foreseeing in spirit their intent, the monk summoned them and for a long time he urged them to give up their destructive intention. He said: "Heed not that state of mind, of having sorrow and hatred for the place in which we live, and being prompted to go off to another place. Let a monk not imagine that, having gone to another place he arrives at something better, since good deeds are realised not by a place, but by a firm will and by faith. Whence the tree, which often they transplant to another place, does not bear fruit".
In the year 431 was convened in Ephesus the Third OEcumenical Council, directed against the Nestorian heresy. The Monk Euthymios rejoiced over the affirmation of Orthodoxy but was grieved about the archbishop of Antioch John who, being orthodox, defended Nestorios.
In the year 451 was convened at Chalcedon the Fourth OEcumenical Council against the heresy of Dioskoros who, in contrast to Nestorios, asserted that in the Lord Jesus Christ there is only one nature -- the Divine, having in the Incarnation swallowed up the human nature (thus the heresy was called Monophysite).
The Monk Euthymios accepted the confession of the Chalcedon and he acknowledged it as Orthodox. News about this spread quickly among the monks and hermits and many of them, having previously believed wrongly, through the example of Saint Euthymios accepted the confession of the Chalcedon Council.
For his ascetic life and firm confession of the Orthodox faith Saint Euthymios received the title "the Great". Having become wearied by intercourse with the world, the holy abba settled for a time into an inner wilderness. After his return to the lavra some of the brethren saw that, when he celebrated the Divine Liturgy, fire descended from Heaven and encircled the saint. The monk himself revealed to several of the monastics, that often he saw an Angel celebrating the Holy Liturgy together with him. The monk had a gift of perspicacity -- he saw the innder workings of the spirit and he discerned human inclinations. When monastics received the Holy Mysteries, it was revealed to the monk -- who approached worthily, and who unto condemnation of self.
When the Monk Euthymios was 82 years old, there came to him blessed Sava (the future Sava the Sanctified, Comm. 5 December), who was then still a youth. The elder received him with love and sent him off to the monastery of the Monk Theoktistos. He foretold, that the Monk Sava would shine in the monastic life.
When the saint had become 90 years of age, his companion and fellow Monk Theoktistos became grievously ill. The Monk Euthymios came to visit his friend and remained at the monastery; he took his leave of him and was present at the end. Having consigned the body to the grave, he returned to the lavra.
The time of his death was revealed to the Monk Euthymios through a particular mercy of God. On the day of memory of the Monk Anthony the Great, 17 January, the Monk Euthymios gave blessing to make the all-night vigil and, summoning the presbyters to the Altar, he told them that he would no more celebrate with them another vigil, because the Lord was summoning him from earthly life. All were filled with great sadness, but the monk commanded the brethren to gather together with him in the morning. He began to instruct the brethren: "If ye love me, observe my precepts, acquire love, which is an uniting of perfection. No virtuousness is possible without love and humility. The Lord Himself on account of His Love for us humbled Himself and became Man, as are we. We need therefore unceasingly to offer up praise to Him, particularly we, who have renounced the passions of the world. Never leave from church services, observe tradition and monastic rules carefully. If anyone of the brethren struggleth with unclean thoughts, -- unceasingly guide and instruct him, so that the devil does not carry off the brother into the pit".
"I add likewise another command: let the gates of the monastery never be bolted to wanderers and everything that you have, offer to the needy, for the poor in their misfortune do what you can to help". Afterwards, having given instruction for the guidance of the brethren, the monk promised to remain in spirit with all who desired to bear asceticism in his monastery until the end of the ages.
Having dismissed all, the Monk Euthymios kept about him only his one disciple Dometian and, remaining with him inside the Altar for three days, he died on 20 January in the year 473 at the age of 97 years.
At the burial of the holy abba there immediately thronged a multitude of monks from the monasteries and from the wilderness, among whom was Saint Gerasimos. The Patriarch Anastasios came also with clergy, the Nitreian monks Martyrios and Elias, who later became Jerusalem Patriarchs -- about which the Monk Euthymios had foretold them.
Blessed Dometian did not leave the grave of his preceptor for 6 days. On the 7th day, he saw the holy abba, joyously having returned with love for his student: "I am come, my child, in preparation for thee in peace, wherefore I prayed the Lord Jesus Christ, that thou be with me". Having told the brethren about the vision, Saint Dometian went to church and in joy offered his spirit to God. He was buried alongside Saint Euthymios. The relics of the Monk Euthymios were situated at his monastery in Palestine: the Russian pilgrim hegumen Daniel saw them in the XII Century.
The Holy Martyrs Inna, Pinna and Rimma, -- Slavs by birth from northern Skythia, -- they were disciples of the holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called. They taught about the Name of Christ and they baptised many barbarians converted to the true faith. For this there were seized by the local prince, but they would not recant from Christ nor would they offer sacrifice to idols. A fierce winter then prevailed; the rivers were so solid with frost, that on the ice there travelled not only people, but also horses with carts. The prince gave orders to put large timbers on the ice and bind the saints to them, gradually lowering them into the freezing water. When the ice reached the necks of the saints they, worn out by the terrible cold, offered to the Lord their blessed souls.
The Holy Martyrs Bassos, Eusebios, Eutykhios and Basilides were courtiers of the emperor Diocletian. He sent them as witnesses of the suffering of the Nicomedia bishop Theopemptos (Comm. 5 January) for his faith in Christ. They themselves came to believe and accepted holy Baptism. For this they were subjected to tortures and condemned to death. Saint Bassos they buried in the ground and hacked at him; Saint Eusebios they hung head downwards and cut him in two; Saint Eutykhios they tied hands and legs to a pillar and broke him apart; Saint Basilides they cut in the stomach with a knife. The martyrs suffered in the year 303.
The Holy Martyr Zakharias suffered under the Turks for his faith in Christ in the year 1782, in ancient Patras (Peloponessos). Having at first accepted Musselmanism, he afterwards repented returned again to the true Christian faith. He died drawn out on wood.
The SchemaMonk Evthymii of Pechersk (XIV Century), imposed upon himself a vow of silence, opening his mouth only for Divine-services and for prayer. The silent schema-monk priest ate only herbs. He was buried in the Farther Feodosiev Cave of the Kievo-Pechersk monastery. His memory is also 28 August and on the 2nd Sunday of Great Lent.
The Monk Evthymii of Syanzhemsk and Vologda -- was born in Vologda, and took monastic vows at the Saviour-Stone monastery at Lake Kuben. For some time he lived in a solitary cell on the River Kuben, and then gave over the place to the Monk Alexandr of Kushtsk and moved to Syanzhem, where he founded the Voznesenie / Ascension monastery and became its hegumen.
The monk died in about the year 1465, having established as his successor the Monk Khariton (Comm. 28 September). The account about the appearance of his relics was recorded in the XVI Century by the Vologda bishop Ioasaph, a noted hagiographer of his time.
THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:
1. SAINT EUTHYMIUS THE GREAT
Of noble and distinguished parents, Euthymius was born in the Armenian town of Melitene near the Euphrates river about the year 377 A.D. He was the only child, a son, born in answer to the prayer of his mother Dionisiya, who had a heavenly vision regarding the birth of Euthymius. From his youth, he lived a life of asceticism, at first in the proximity of his town [Melitene] but then, after he visited Jerusalem at age twenty-nine, in the desert between Jerusalem and Jericho called Pharan. He 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 expelled demons, healed the gravely ill, brought water to the desert, multiplied bread and prophesied. He taught monks the love of labor saying, "If you eat bread, not of your own labor, know that you are eating of someone else's labor." When some of the younger monks wanted to fast more than others, he forbade them to do so and commanded them to come to the communal table so that they would not become prideful as a result of their excessive fasting. 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. During his life time, a large monastery [Lavra] was established in the proximity of his cave which later, throughout the centuries, was completely filled with monks as a beehive is filled with bees. His final command was that the monastery always adhere to hospitality and that the gates of the monastery never be closed. He died at the age of ninety-seven. The Patriarch of Jerusalem was in attendance at his funeral. The patriarch waited all day long until the great masses of people reverenced the body of the saint and only in the evening were they able to complete the Office for Burial for the Dead. On the seventh day following his death, Euthymius appeared radiant and rejoicing to Domentian, his disciple. The Venerable Euthymius, in truth, was a true "son of Light". He died in the year 473 A.D.
2. THE HOLY MARTYRS INNAS, NIRRAS AND PINNAS
They are considered to be the first Slavic martyrs who are mentioned in history. They are referred to as Scythians and disciples of St. Andrew the Apostle. They suffered for the Faith at the hands of their pagan neighbors on the right side of the Danube river near Varna. Tied up on the ice, Innas, Nirras and Pinnas froze and died in the Lord.
HYMN OF PRAISE
The eye which sees all, the ear which hears all,
With all, travels and everywhere they travel;
Without changing place, they are in every place.
Where virtue is being kneaded, God is the yeast in the dough,
Where light is sought, He gives of Himself;
Where help is cried for, He does not absent Himself;
Quietly and silently, but always on time,
He has the time to reap and to sow the seeds,
He has the time to reproach, He has the time to reward,
To make the young old and to make the old young,
To weed, to trim and to caress fruits -
He reaches wherever He wants and He reaches when He wants.
Whenever a person alone thinks, behold, He listens,
Where two people speak, as a third party, He hears,
Where the weaver weaves the cloth, her threads He counts,
The universal fabric, in His mind He weaves,
O, who will His footsteps and paces know?
Who could enumerate His paths and places?
Eternal and Immortal, Triune and One,
In the roadless net of the universal fabric
Unseen and seen, regardless from where He is viewed
He cuts out the paths and reveals the direction.
In the roadless net, He looks at all the paths,
And does not allow not even an ant to stay.
Thoughts about Him, Saint Euthymius
For eighty years on earth, dedicated to Him.
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.
To contemplate the Lord Jesus as Light:
1. As a Light to my life; as a Light to mankind; as a Light to every creature;
2. As a Light, especially in the darkness of fear and suffering;
3. As a Light in the hour of death and after death; a Light in eternity.
About the only Light in darkness
"I am the Light of theworld" (St. John 8:12).
Since the beginning of the world and time, no one who was ever born dared to speak these words. There were men and there are men who say: "I bring light!" But only one dared to say: "I am the Light!" Only the Lord Jesus could have spoken those words boldly and convincingly. His short life on earth and His long history, nearly two-thousand years, completely justified these words. He is the Light of Truth. He is the Light of Righteousness and He is the Light of Life.
He is the Light of Truth because He revealed in Himself the truth of the true nature of God and the true nature of man; and the relationship of man to man and the relationship of man toward God. Heaven and earth shall pass away and His words will not pass away for heaven and earth both came into existence by His word and His word is from Him and with Him always and will not pass away. ["Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away" St. Matthew 24:35 - St. Mark 13:31].
He is the Light of Righteousness because He revealed the might of righteousness and the weakness of unrighteousness. He revealed that in the brightest light, by that which He spoke, by that which He did, and by that which He experienced and overcame the unrighteous ones. He revealed that through His Church in the course of twenty centuries through His numerous righteous saints and martyrs for righteousness sake. Righteousness is from God, and in the long life of history it can never be defeated. Unrighteousness is from helpless beings. Unrighteousness quickly rushes out to the rampart with its triumphant banner but, at the same time, it is quickly overthrown into the grave.
He is the Light of Life. His words illuminate life. His works illuminate life. His victory illuminates life, especially His resurrection, as the most luminous sun by its bright light illuminates life and disperses death as a weak shadow.
O Lord Jesus, Light Most-Luminous, Sun of Truth, Sun of Righteousness and Sun of Life, illuminate us sinners and unworthy ones!