January 20, 2021

The Miraculous and Prophetic Birth of Saint Euthymios the Great

 By Cyril of Scythopolis

Euthymios, the heavenly citizen, had parents whose names were Paul and Dionysia. They were not undistinguished but of most noble birth and adorned with every godly virtue, while as fatherland and home they had Melitene, the famous metropolis of Armenia. Blessed Dionysia, after cohabiting with her husband for many years, had not given birth, being sterile. As a result they were much disheartened, and the two of them continued for a long time to entreat God earnestly to give them a child. Going to the shrine near the city there of the glorious and victorious martyr Polyeuktos, they persevered for many days in prayer, as the account of the ancient monks that has come down to me has made known; and one night, as they were praying alone, a divine vision appeared to them and said, "Be tranquil, be tranquil; for behold, God has granted you a child who will bear the name of tranquil (euthymia), since at his birth he who grants you him will give tranquility to his churches." Noting the hour of the vision, they returned home.

From the time of his conception they recognized that the vision had proved true, and from the moment of his birth they called the child Euthymios and promised to offer him to God. He was born, as tradition relates, in the month of August in the fourth consulship of Gratian.  That the vision is true, let our readers acknowledge: for around forty years, the champions of the orthodox faith expelled, the Arians in control from the time of Constantius, and persecution pressing down on the faithful in the time of both of the usurper Julian and of his successor as emperor in the East, Valens, as soon as Euthymios, the appropriately named, was born, all the distress of the holy churches was transformed into tranquility. For before the completion of the fifth month in his sixth consulship, Valens, the enemy of God, set off under arms against the barbarians ravaging Thrace and, crushed in battle a short time afterwards, paid a penalty worthy of his enmity towards God: in a village near Adrianople in Thrace, vanquished by force of arms and in flight, he was burnt by the barbarians in pursuit, together with the village harboring him, before the completion of the first year after Euthymios' birth.