May 7, 2018

Translation of the Sacred Relic of Saint Euthymios the Great in 473 A.D.

Translation of the Relic of St. Euthymios the Great (Feast Day - May 7)

By St. Cyril of Scythopolis

(Life of Euthymios, 40, 42)

The death of Euthymios occurred on 20 January of the eleventh indiction, in the year 5965 since the creation of the world, from when time began to be measured by the course of the sun, and in the year 465 [or 473] since the Word of God became man from the Virgin and was born in the flesh, according to the chronologies composed by the holy fathers Hippolytus the Ancient, disciple of the Apostles, Epiphanios of Cyprus, and Heron the philosopher and confessor. The chronology of his life in the flesh is as follows. Born following a revelation, he was consecrated to God at the age of three at the beginning of the reign of Theodosius the Great; on progressing through all the ecclesiastical grades, he came to Jerusalem in the twenty-ninth year of his life; he spent sixty-eight years in the desert and died at the age of ninety-seven in the fifth consulship of the emperor Leo and the sixteenth year of his reign.

The news, circulating through all the surrounding country, brought together an immense crowd of monks and laypeople. Indeed the most holy archbishop Anastasios also, bringing a great number of clerics and soldiers, arrived at the lavra, accompanied by Chrysippus, Gabrielius, and Fidus the deacon. From all parts assembled the anchorites of the desert, including our great father Gerasimos. Many extraordinary miracles were wrought by God through his holy remains, to the amazement of the archbishop and those present, so that it was not possible to bury them till the ninth hour, when at the order of the archbishop, the soldiers drove off the crowd. Then the fathers placed them in a coffin and buried them in a suitable place. Martyrios and Elias wept and lamented the loss of the father. At the recommendation of Chrysippus the guardian of the Cross the archbishop invited them to attend upon him; and leaving Fidus the deacon in the lavra with responsibility for building a burial vault for the translation of the honorable remains to a becoming place, he returned to the holy city, whence he sent skilled workmen and every assistance for the building.

Fidus the deacon speedily erected the burial vault on the site of the cave where the great Euthymios had originally been a solitary. Demolishing the cave, he built in only three months a great and marvelous vaulted chamber. In the middle he constructed the tomb of the saint; on either side he provided tombs for superiors, priests, and other pious men. The archbishop, who had sent the tombstone in advance with a silver crucible and surrounding railings, came down to the lavra and translated the honorable remains to the place prepared, carrying them with his own hands. After laying them to rest securely, so that no one could open the tomb and carry off the remains, he laid the tombstone in place, fixing the crucible above the breast. This crucible, from then till this day, pours forth every kind of benefit for those who approach with faith. The translation of the remains took place on 7 May.