THE FEAST OF ST EFTHYMIOS THE GREAT
On Sunday, the 20th of January/2nd of February 2014, the memory of our Father, Efthymios the Great, was celebrated by the Patriarchate.
- I. In Jerusalem
In the Monastery dedicated to the name of Hosios Efthymios, in the Christian quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, the services of Vespers and Matins were led by the Elder Secretary-General, His Eminence Aristarchos, Archbishop of Constantina. Co-officiating were the Hegoumen of the Holy Monastery of St Catherine, Archimandrite f. Dositheos; the vicar of the Church of St James the Brother of God, f. Issa-Christos Tumas, and Archdeacon f. Evlogios. Cantor Evangelos Tsarkatzoglou, of Greece, chanted in the presence of several faithful, monks, nuns, members of the Greek Parish of Jerusalem and the Arab-Speaking (Rum Orthodox) congregation.
His Eminence Aristarchos of Constantina preached the Word of God on the life and deeds of Hosios Efthymios.
At the end of the divine Liturgy, Abbess Christonymphe hosted a reception for the Prelatic Retinue and all those present.
- II. In the desert ruins of St Efthymios’ Lavra
On the eve of the memory of St Efthymios, namely the 19th of January/1st of February 2014, an open-air divine Liturgy was held on the ruins of the renowned Lavra (Monastery) of Hosios Efhtymios, by Archimandrite Aristovoulos, the head cantor of the Church of the Resurrection. Approximately 30 faithful attended the service, nuns and others, following a permit by the Israeli Archaeological Service.
This particular Lavra is the last of those founded in the desert of Judea by St Efthymios. Between the years 430-473 AD, it became a Christian and missionary center, a great beacon of Orthodoxy, through the spiritual guidance of Hosios Efthymios, who was granted by God the gift of insight and healing, and led thousands of monks and Christians from the dogma of monophysitism of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, to the existence in Christ of two natures, one divine and one human. Among those returning to Orthodoxy upon the mediation of St Efthymios, was Empress Eudocia, wife to Emperor Theodosius the Small.
From the Secretariat-General