On Wednesday, 20 January/2 February 2022, the Patriarchate celebrated the feast of our Holy Father Euthymios the Great.

On this feast the Church commemorates that Saint Euthymios came to the Holy Land around AD 420, having first lived as a monk and Priest in his hometown, Melitini of Armenia.

Since he came to the Holy Land, he lived in utmost poverty and every virtue, in ascesis at the Judea desert, having Saint Theoktistos as a fellow ascetic. Saint Theoktistos founded a Coenobitic Monastery while Saint Euthymios founded a monastic Lavra, where he received the advanced monks, after their training in the Coenobium. In this Lavra, in the Judea desert between Jerusalem and Jericho, he received Saint Savvas, when the latter had completed his training at the Coenobium of Saint Theoktistos. Saint Savvas came to the Holy Land in AD 456.

In this Monastery and the wider area of the desert, Saint Euthymios became a great guide of both monks and laity and a defender of the Doctrine of the 4th Ecumenical Synod of Chalcedon in AD 451, regarding the two natures of Christ, against the Monophysites, from whom he delivered the Empress Eudoxia.

Saint Euthymios was gifted by God with clairvoyance and miracle-working and drew to Christianity some Persians who came to his Lavra and asked from the Patriarch of Jerusalem the ordination of their superior named Aspevetus, to become the Metropolitan of Paremvoles.  

This is the information given by the biographer of the Palestinian Saints, Cyril of Skythopolis.

At the place of the historic monastery of Saint Euthymios, there are ruins now, which can be visited as an archaeological site.

The commemoration of Saint Euthymios was celebrated at the Monastery dedicated to him in the Old City of Jerusalem with Vespers on Tuesday afternoon and the Divine Liturgy on Wednesday morning, which were officiated by His Eminence Archbishop Theophanes of Gerassa, with co-celebrants the Archimandrites Mattheos and Klaudios, Priests Farah and Nectarios, Archdeacon Mark and Heirodeacon Dositheos, at the chanting of Mr Gotsopoulos and the Patriarchal School Students. The Services were attended by Nuns and laity from Jerusalem.

During the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos came for veneration, accompanied by Hagiotaphite Fathers.

His Beatitude, the Episcopal Entourage and the congregation were offered a reception by the good keep of the Monastery, reverend Abbess Sarrah.

From Secretariat-General