Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Synaxarion of our Holy Father Donatos, Bishop of Euroea

St. Donatos of Euroea (Feast Day - April 30)

Verses

How can we glorify you with words Donatos,
As have your deeds glorified you everywhere?

Our Holy Father Donatos was Bishop of the city called Euroea, which was in Epirus, whose Metropolis was located in Ioannina, during the reign of Theodosius the Great (379-395). The city of Euroea had a village called Soreia,* and in this village was a spring of water, which when drinking from it, would bring on a bitter death. When the most-holy Donatos learned of this, he went to the spring with his priests and clergy, and upon arriving immediately there was thunder, and after this thunder there came out of this spring a deadly dragon. The dragon approached the Saint, and tried to tangle its tail around the legs of the donkey the blessed one was riding. The Saint turned and seeing the dragon, he took the rope which he used to whip the donkey, and struck the back of the dragon, and this alone caused the dragon to receive a death wound. It therefore immediately fell down dead. O the greatness of God and His unutterable philanthropy! For with the Saints who are well pleasing to Him, He works together in order to do these wondrous and paradoxical works! The Christians who beheld this wonder then gathered wood, lit a fire, and burned the beast. No one however out of fear dared to drink from the spring of water. Therefore the Saint composed a prayer, and having blessed the spring, he was the first to drink the water, and told the others to drink without fear. Having done so till they were satisfied, they returned to their homes unharmed.

When Emperor Theodosius the Great learned of this, he issued an invitation to all the Bishops of those parts, and when they had gathered together, he asked them: "Who among you is Bishop Donatos, who killed the dragon with a rope, and by his prayers caused water to come out of the ground, and brought down rain from heaven?" The Bishops pointed to the Saint, saying: "It is he, O emperor." The emperor then greeted him, and brought him to the empress. The two then fell down and took hold of his feet, begging him, saying: "Servant of God, do show us mercy, for we have an only-begotten daughter, who is tormented by a demon, for which we are greatly in sorrow and our souls are crushed. If you heal her, you will receive half of her dowry." The Saint replied: "Let your daughter appear that I may see her," so they brought the Saint to her. Then the demon was censured by the blessed one, and was immediately expelled from the daughter. The emperor then prepared to give him what he had promised, though the Saint would not allow it, but seeing his good intention, he asked to be given a place near his province, which was suitable for the building of a church, in Omphalio. The emperor granted that land to the Saint with a written edict.


Saint Donatos also resurrected a dead man, of whom a money-lender was preventing the burial, since he did not pay him back the money he loaned to him. When the dead man conversed with the lender about the debt, and the lender ripped apart the deed of the debt, the Saint again ordered him to sleep until the common resurrection of the dead. When the Saint was in Constantinople, there was a want of rain, and the sky was clear and cloudless. The emperor then asked the Saint, saying: "Honorable Father, the City is heavy with disquiet, greatly crying out and sure, that you have received grace and power from God to bring down rain from the sky. Fulfill therefore, I beg you, also this entreaty of mine." The Saint went outside the City, prayed, and such a great amount of rain fell inside and outside the City, and the surrounding villages, that this rain could not be distinguished from a cataclysmic rain. The emperor thought how the Saint, who was outside, was completely wet from so much rain, and how he had only one garment. After a little while he came into the City and before the emperor, and - O the miracle! - the wondrous one was found to not even have a drop of rain on him. Everyone was in awe by these wonders. The emperor rejoiced and was glad in the words of the Saint. He therefore gave him enough gold to build the church, as well as the vessels and material for ornamentation to build the church, and he sent him back. When he arrived at his province he built the temple, prepared his grave, and having arrived at a deep old age, the renowned one reposed and departed to the Lord.

Notes:

* St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite believes Soreia may be Suli in Epirus.


Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Grace has shown you to be, as a wise Hierarch, the shepherd of Euroea, and torch of Epirus, blessed Donatos; you shined in your wonders, and by your bright life, you dispense to those who honor you, every divine gift; for to your protection, we hasten Father.

Kontakion in the Third Tone
Today celebrates, the city of Paramythia, together with the rest, of your inheritance Father, your all-holy and bright-bearing memory; it has, his protection as a great wall; for this reason we cry to you: Rejoice Donatos, boast of Epirus.

Megalynarion
Rejoice divine shepherd of Euroea, and the patron and helper, of Paramythia; rejoice Hierarch, the glory of Thesprotia, and the boast of all Epirus, O Donatos.


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