April 1, 2020

Saint Euthymius of Suzdal (+ 1404)

St. Euthymius of Suzdal (Feast Day - April 1)

Venerable Euthymius of Suzdal was born in the year 1316 at Nizhni-Novgorod. From early childhood he was educated and received a spiritual upbringing. He received monastic tonsure at the Nizhegorod Caves Monastery under its founder, Saint Dionysius (later the Archbishop of Suzdal, commemorated June 26 and Oct. 15).

The ascetic struggles of Saint Euthymius were so great that Saint Dionysius advised him to lessen them. In 1352 Prince Boris of Suzdal sought to establish a men’s monastery in his city, and he requested the Nizhegorod Caves Monastery to send a monk to establish the monastery. The choice of the saintly abbot fell upon Saint Euthymius.

After the arrival of Saint Euthymius in the northern part of the city beyond the Kamenka River, Saint John of Suzdal (Oct. 15) set up a cross on the site of the future monastery cathedral before a tremendous crowd of people. The prince himself began to dig the ground for the foundation, and Saint Euthymius made three grave stones for himself, vowing to remain in the new monastery until the very end of his life.

So, the the Savior-Euthymius Monastery was founded, where soon more than three hundred monks gathered under the guidance of the Saint. The monastery adopted the cenobitic rule. The Saint insisted that each of the monks be prepared to fulfill whatever obedience they were given. Saint Euthymius went often to the Trinity-Sergiev Monastery to Saint Sergius of Radonezh (Sept. 25 and July 5). Saint Euthymius was a strict ascetic and a great man of prayer. He toiled incessantly for the benefit of all the brethren. He reposed on April 1, 1404.

On July 4, 1507 while a foundation trench was being dug for a new cathedral church, his incorrupt relics were uncovered. The Saint was glorified at a Council in 1549.

On February 12, 1919 the tomb of the Saint was opened by the Soviets. The result of its examination in the report said that it contained “a pile of decayed and crumbling bones." In May 1922, the relics were withdrawn from the monastery. The relics of the Saint became an exhibit of the anti-religious department of the museum, and from the mid-1940s were stored. On June 9, 1988, the relics of Euthymius were transferred by the Vladimir Museum-Reserve to the only temple of the city of Suzdal that was functioning at that time - the Church of Saints Constantine and Helen. On October 10, 2015 the relics were returned to the Transfiguration Cathedral of the Spaso-Euthymius Monastery.