On January 20 the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the Feast Day of Agios Euthymius the Great, who was also known as a miracle worker.
Euthymius was born during the reign of king Gratian in 377 A.D. He came from Melitine in Armenia and was the son of pious and faithful parents called Paul and Dionysia.
Though Euthymius’ mother was barren, his parents prayed fervently to God to grant them a child. Then they had a vision: they heard the voice of an angel who told them to be cheerful because with the child’s birth every heresy was going to be abolished and universal peace was going to be granted to the Church of God. For this reason, this Saint was called Euthymius (meaning good cheer).
When he was twenty-nine years old, he went to Jerusalem and lived with St. Theoktistos in a cave on the mountain. While he was there, St. Euthymius liberated many men from the terrible chains of disease.
They also say that this saint fed four hundred men, who had come to the monastery, with very few loaves of bread. Moreover, not only did he break his mother’s sterility through his birth, but also through prayer he made other childless women to be fruitful. He also opened the gates of Heaven, as great Elijah had done, bringing rain during a period of drought. Once a column of light, seen descending from Heaven by the by-standers while the saint was celebrating the bloodless sacrifice, made the internal brightness of divine Euthymius’ soul known. This light shone over the saint until he completed the Liturgy. A further sign of the purity and chastity of the saint was that he could spiritually see the mood and the condition of those souls when they approached to receive the Eucharist.
Another story about St. Euthymius’ clairvoyance involves a monk who was about to die. This monk outwardly appeared to be a prudent and moderate saint, but in his heart, he was lecherous and intemperate because he allowed his labors to be sweetened with shameful thoughts. So, when this monk at the point of death, blessed Euthymius saw an angel taking the soul of that miserable monk by force, using a three-pronged spear. Immediately the saint also heard a voice revealing all the hidden and shameful thoughts of that dying monk.
During his lifetime a large monastery was established in the proximity of his cave. Down through the centuries, this monastery was completely filled with monks, as a beehive is filled with bees. Euthymius’s final command was that the monastery always adhere to hospitality and that the gates of the monastery never be closed. He reposed 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 the Burial of the Dead. On the seventh day following his death, Euthymius appeared radiant and rejoicing to Dometian, his disciple. He had established many religious communities throughout Palestine.
The Venerable Euthymius was a true “son of light.” He reposed in the year 473.
Today is also the name day of Euthymius and Euthymia.