September 11, 2020

Synaxarion of our Venerable Father Euphrosynos the Cook

St. Euphrosynos the Cook (Feast Day - September 11)


Having borne the weight of all things unbearable with courage,
Euphrosynos now rejoices in divine delight.

He was born to parents who were peasants from the country. Having been raised with a common and uneducated upbringing, he later departed for a monastery. When he was dressed in the monastic schema, he became a servant of the monks. Because he always occupied himself with cooking as a countryman, he was despised by all the monks and ridiculed. The blessed one endured all the disdain with a brave heart and mind, and with quiet thoughts, without being entirely troubled. For, although he was a common man according to his words, he was not a common man according to his knowledge. This can be clearly shown by the following narration.

In the monastery where the renowned Euphrosynos lived, there was a Priest who was a friend of God, who eagerly supplicated that God would show him those good things of the future that will be received by those who loved Him. One night, as the Priest was sleeping, it appeared in his sleep that he was in a garden, and he saw the most-cheerful good things that were to be found there with amazement and astonishment. There he also saw the highest cook of the monastery, Euphrosynos, who was standing in the middle of the garden, and he was receiving those various good things.* He approached him, and asked to learn which garden this was! and how he came to be there! Euphrosynos answered: "This garden is the dwelling-place of the elect of God. Because of the much goodness of my God, I was forgiven to be here." And the Priest said to him: "And what do you do in this garden?" Euphrosynos replied: "I have dominion over all that you see here, and I rejoice and am glad in its vision and rest."

The Priest said to him: "Are you able to give me any of these good things?" Euphrosynos responded: "Yes, take of these with the grace of my God." The Priest then showed him some apples, and asked to be given from these. Euphrosynos took some apples, and put them on the outer-garment of the Priest, saying: "Behold, delight in the apples which you asked for."

Because the semantron was struck for the Fathers to get up for Matins, the Priest woke up. And while he thought the vision that he saw was just a dream, he stretched out his hands for his outer-garment and - O the miracle! - he found the apples to be real. And being in wonder of the strange fragrance, he remained motionless for a long time.

He then went to church, and seeing Euphrosynos standing there, he took him to a place aside, and he had him pledge to tell him where he had been that night. Euphrosynos said: "Forgive me, Father. I was nowhere last night, and just now came to the service." The Priest said concerning this: "I have previously bound you with oaths, in order for the majesty of God to appear to all, and you are not persuaded to reveal the truth?" Then the humble Euphrosynos replied: "I was there, Father, where the good things are, which those who love God will acquire in the future, of which many years ago you asked to see. There you also saw me receiving the good things from the garden. The Lord wanted to inform your holiness of the good things of the righteous that you asked to see, and He brought about this wondrous thing through me the worthless one." And the Priest said: "And what, Father Euphrosynos, did you give me of the good things in the garden?" Euphrosynos replied: "The beautiful and fragrant apples, which you have now placed on your bed. However Father forgive, for I am a worm and not a man."

The Priest narrated to all the brothers the vision he saw. And by this he moved all of them to wonder and astonishment, and to the zeal which is good and to virtue. The blessed Euphrosynos fled the glory of men, and secretly departed the monastery. He fled to such a distance, that he remained completely unknown. Many who were sick that ate of that apple, were healed of their sicknesses.**


* St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite offers the following footnote: "We note here (inasmuch as the divine Gregory the Dialogist says in many places in his four books, where he writes about many Saints), the good things that those who love God will receive exceeds beyond any form or shape. Those good things have no likeness to anything earthly. As Paul says: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him' (1 Cor. 2:9). For God condescends to the weaknesses of mankind, and He forms by His grace and power, those good things with what is earthly. Whether it be with paradises, flowers, apples, sensible lights, and other such things. This is done in order to console the longings of mankind. Also, by these sensible and disclosed good things, He can lift up their minds to a vision and meaning of those noetic and invisible good things, which the righteous will receive in heaven."

** Interestingly, with the feast of St. Euphrosynos falling on September 11th, it simultaneously also falls during the apple season, which usually begins in late August or early September and lasts until mid to late October.

Apolytikion in Plagal of the First Tone
With a humble heart Father Euphrosynos, you offered your service as a cook, and you were truly filled with the Holy Spirit, wherefore the glory of God became known in you, through a venerable priest; make us also partakers of the same, God-bearer, through your intercessions.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
You partook of heavenly gladness, which came to pass Euphrosynos, due to your angelic life, and you were seen to be equal in honor to the Angels, with them do beseech, on behalf of those who honor you.

You lived as an ascetic like an angel on earth, in a virtuous manner, you purified your soul; wherefore without ceasing you partake in gladness, intercede for us Father Euphrosynos.