Icon of Saint Euthymios the Great (Dionysiou) – S286

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Saint Euthymios was born in Melitene, Armenia (now Makatya, Turkey) in a.d. 377 to pious parents.  He had been born after fervent prayers to God, for they were barren, and his mother and father, Dionysia and Paul, heard an angel who told them to be of good cheer (Euthymios in Greek) because they would have a child who would bring gladness on the Faithful and destroy heresy.

The child grew and was given to Eutrojos, the Bishop of Melitene, when his father died, where he was trained and became a priest.  He was sent to look after hermits and monasteries.  At 29, Saint Euthymios traveled to Jerusalem and lived in a cave with Saint Theoktistos, who became his mentor in desert monastic life.  He was mighty in prayer and fed many by multiplying food, helped barren women bear children, cured the sick, in a drought prayed for rain which soon came, and was clairvoyant.  At one time a Heavenly light shone over him while he performed the Divine Liturgy.  The ruins of his monastery can be seen today and are found at Khan el-Ahmar in the Judean desert near Jerusalem.  He was the first founder of communal monastic life in Palestine, dying in a.d. 473.

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Egg Tempera


17th c. (Early)


Dionysiou Monastery, Mt. Athos, Greece