St. Euthymius the Great
An influential hermit, St. Euthymius was born c. 377/378 in
Armenia, now Makatya, Turkey. He may have been an orphan; he was educated
and ordained c. 396 by Bishop
Otreus of Melitene. Euthymius was also a
monk and became the head of all the monasteries in the district where he
lived. In 406, he travelled to Palestine, where he entered the Pharam
lavra. He later retired with a companion, Theoctistus, to a cave on the
road to Jericho. Theoctistus became the abbot of the community that
gathered around the pair. Euthymius sought solitude near the Dead Sea, and
in the course of his wanderings, he converted many nomadic Arabs, over
whom he was later given charge. C. 426, he established a 15-cell lavra at
Khan-el-Ahmar, at which Bishop Juvenal of Jerusalem dedicated the great
church. Euthymius was influential in formulating the decrees of the
Council of Ephesus (431) and was among the few in Palestine who remained
loyal to those of Chalcedon (451). He was instrumental in the return of
Empress Eudoxia to Orthodoxy, after she abandoned monophysitism.
Euthymius, who was the instructor of Sabas the Great, died in 473.
Karen Rae Keck
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