[St. Pachomius Library]

St. Euthymius the Great

IV/V Centuries
An influential hermit, St. Euthymius was born c. 377/378 in Melitene, 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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