May 5, 2020

Saint Euthymios the Myrrhgusher, Bishop of Madytos

St. Euthymios of Madytos (Feast Day - May 5)

Saint Euthymios was born in Epivates, Thrace (modern Selimpa┼ča) in the beginning of the tenth century. His sister according to the flesh was Saint Paraskevi of Epivates (Oct. 14). When his father Niketas died, his mother brought him to a monastery in Constantinople, where he lived in spiritual struggles for thirty years. Because the Saint loved silence, he left the monastery and lived as a hermit in strict asceticism at a remote place.

He was ordained a Deacon by the Bishop of Perinthos (later known as Heracleia of Thrace), then a Presbyter by another Bishop. Distinguished for his virtue and pastoral abilities, he was ordained Bishop of Madytos. During his life he was gifted by God with the grace to work miracles and healings, which earned him the title of "Wonderworker", and he was diligent in philanthropic activities.

His fame reached the ears of Emperor Basil II (976-1025), who visited Bishop Euthymios in Madytos. There the Saint foretold the victory of the emperor against Bardas Phokas in 989.

Saint Euthymios reposed in peace sometime between the years 989 and 996. After his venerable repose myrrh began to gush forth from his tomb, as a testimony to the holiness of his life, and many who were sick hastened to him with faith and were healed. For this reason he is also called the "Myrrhgusher".

Among the miracles after his death we know of the following: 1) the son of a widow was healed of leprosy after being anointed with the Saint's myrrh, 2) a wealthy man of Byzantium was healed of a disease by the myrrh from the Saint's tomb, 3) a woman who was blind had her sight restored at his tomb, 4) a man with a withered hand was healed at his tomb, 5) a turbulence at sea was calmed after his myrrh was poured into it, 6) a Roman soldier held in captivity who called upon the Saint was set free by the Saint who appeared to him in his sleep.

We know these details about Saint Euthymios from an encomium composed by George of Cyprus, later the Patriarch of Constantinople in the thirteenth century. This encomium was written at the request of Bishop Meletios of Athens, who at the time was the Bishop of Madytos.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
The President of Madytos, and renowned Hierarch, you were elevated by grace, as an imitator of Christ, Venerable Euthymios; wherefore you were a healer, divinely-minded of the Lord, perceiving piety, an expounder of divine oracles; and do now entreat the Father, on behalf of those who honor you.

Kontakion in Plagal of the Fourth Tone
As a divinely-inspired Hierarch of the Savior, and a shepherd and teacher of Madytos, we your children sing hymns to you God-bearer. But as a divine dwelling-place of grace, do not leave undone to redeem from all that harms us, we who cry out to you: Rejoice Father Euthymios.

Rejoice bright star of Madytos, divine shepherd, and fervent aid; rejoice the boast and ornament, of the Church, all-blessed Euthymios, who dwells with the Angels.