July 31, 2015

Saint Eudokimos the Righteous of Cappadocia

St. Eudokimos the Righteous (Feast Day - July 31)


The divine Eudokimos, O life worthy of laughter,
It pleased the divinity for you to cease from life.
Eudokimos accepts his first burial on the thirty-first.

Saint Eudokimos, a native of Cappadocia (Asia Minor), lived during the ninth century during the reign of Emperor Theophilos (829-842). He was the son of the pious Christians Basil and Eudokia, an illustrious family and known to the emperor. The righteous life of Saint Eudokimos was totally guided towards pleasing God and service to neighbor. Having given a vow to remain unmarried and chaste, he avoided conversation with women and did not look at them; only with his own mother whom he extremely respected did he carry on edifying conversation. For his virtuous life the emperor appointed Eudokimos as governor of the Kharsian district. Fulfilling his duty as a servant of God, Eudokimos governed the people justly and with kindness, he concerned himself with the misfortunate, as well as orphans and widows, and he was a defender of the common people. His personal Christian exploits which he did in secret, were known only to God. "Amid the throngs and worldly vanity, he was a lily among thorns, and as gold in the fire."

Eudokimos pleased God by his blameless life, and the Lord called him at the age of 33. Laying on his death-bed, Eudokimos gave final instructions to place him in the grave in those clothes in which he would meet death. Then he sent everyone out of the room and besought the Lord in prayer, that no one would see his end, just as no one saw his secret efforts during life. His attendants buried him as he had instructed them. Right after the death of Eudokimos miracles happened at his grave, many sick people were healed, and the news about the miracles of healing spread about. An insane man touched his tomb, and was immediately healed; likewise a paralytic child stood up and was made whole.

After eighteen months the mother of Saint Eudokimos came to venerate the relics, from Constantinople, where his parents had settled after his death. She gave orders to remove the stone, dig up the ground, open the grave, and everyone beheld the face of the Saint, bright as though alive, altogether untouched by decay. Great fragrance came from him. They took up the coffin with the relics from the earth, and they changed the Saint into new clothes. His mother wanted to take the relics of her son to Constantinople, but the Kharsian people would not clear a path for their holy one. But after a certain while the hieromonk Joseph, having lived and served at the grave of the Saint, transported all the relics of Saint Eudokimos to Constantinople on July 6, 831. There they were placed in a silver reliquary in the Church of the Most-Holy Mother of God, built by the parents of the Saint.

Saint Eudokimos is considered in the Russian Church to be one of the special protectors and intercessors before God of the family hearth. A fragment of the relics of Saint Eudokimos are in Great Lavra Monastery in Mount Athos.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
The One that hath called thee from the earth to Heaven to dwell preserveth thy body uncorrupted after thy death, O saintly Eudokimos; for in living modestly and chastely, O blest one, thou didst keep thy flesh free of all stain and defilement; with boldness, therefore, pray unto Christ that we may all be saved.

Kontakion in the Third Tone
Thine august memorial this day hath called us together at the sacred and divine shrine of thy ven'rable relics. Wherefore they that come and worship are all delivered from all harm caused by the demons' accursed malice, O Eudokimos most blessed, and they are rescued swiftly from every disease.

The Chapel of Saint Eudokimos at the Park of Saint Eudokimos in Mytilene, built by refugees from Asia Minor who brought over a revered icon of the Saint and built this chapel to house it.