THE FEAST OF ST. EUTHYMIOS AT THE PATRIARCHATE
On Thursday 20th January/2nd February 2017, the memory of St. Euthymios the Great was celebrated by the Patriarchate, at the monastery named in his honour, located next to the H.Monastery of Seyda Naya, at the north side of the Christian quarter near the Patriarchate.
According to the Synaxarion of the Church and also the biographer of the Palestinian Saints, Cyril of Skythopolis, St. Euthymios from Melitini of Armenia came to the Holy Land around 420 A.D. Having acquired the monastic training from his homeland and also being trained according to the Palestinian monasticism following the teaching of his predecessor ascetics Saints Hilarion and Chariton, he founded the Lavra at the Judea desert which spreads between Jerusalem and Jericho. There, he gathered a multitude of monks who were his own spiritual children and thousands of others who came from other monasteries seeking spiritual guidance. At the Lavra he received mainly the advanced in ascesis monks, who had previously been trained at a Coenobion, and he was treated by all with respect and trust, due to his pious and strict ascetic life, his enlightenment by the Holy Spirit and the miracles that God deigned him to work.
St. Euthymios became St. Savvas’ spiritual guide in the monastic life, in cooperation with his co-ascetic St. Theoctistos, who was in charge of the Coenobitic Monastery, to which St. Savvas was sent by St. Euthymios due to his young age. St. Euthymios baptized the members of an envoy from Persia and recommended Peter to become Patriarch of Jerusalem.
St. Euthymios – prior to St. Savvas and St. Theoctistos – was a strong defender of the Doctrine of the 4th Ecumenical Synod in Chalcedon in 451 A.D., that is, the co-existence of the two natures of Christ, both divine and human. To this salvific truth he restored the Byzantine Empress Eudocia, who had fallen in the fallacy of Monofisitism.
This historic Lavra of St. Euthymios, which significantly contributed to the cultivation of the Lavra-style monasticism and supported the Church, suffered the decaying of time and the war results since 638 A.D. and has now become a tourist attraction as an archaeological site. The tomb of the Saint is found there, discovered in the 1929 excavations and in the recent time of the Israeli archaeological society.
Vespers and the Divine Liturgy were led by the Most Reverend Metropolitan Joachim of Helenoupolis at the Holy Monastery of St. Euthymios and not in the former Lavra, with concelebrants Hagiotaphite Hieromonks, Hierodeacons, at the singing of the left choir singer of the Most Holy Church of the Resurrection Mr. Alvanos, the Legate of Athens Archimandrite Damianos and sister Mariam, with the large praying congregation of the Greek Community in Jerusalem, monks, nuns and noble pilgrims.
During the D. Liturgy, H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos came with Hagiotaphite Fathers to venerate.
After the D. Liturgy, the good keeper and dealer of the matters concerning the Monastery, Abbess Christonymphi gave a reception to the Episcopal Entourage and the congregation at the hegoumeneion.