[[Image: StEuthymiusTheGreat.jpg|thumb|right|St. Euthymius the great: 17th c. painting on wood at [[ Dionysiou Monastery]], [[Mount Athos| Mt. Athos]] ]] Our great and [[venerable]] father '''Euthymius' '' (sometimes spelled Euthymios or Efthymios - [[ feastday]] [[ January 20]] ) was born during the reign of king Gratian in 377 A. D. He came from Melitine in [[ Church of Armenia|Armenia]] ( now Makatya, Turkey) , and was the son of pious and faithful parents, who were called Paul and Dionysia.
As [[John the Forerunner]] had been born of a barren mother so this venerable Euthymius was born of a sterile woman and received the name Euthymius from [[God]] before even being born. His parents were praying to God to grant them a child. So, they heard the voice of an Angel who told them to be jolly and cheerful or rather that not only his parents but all should be jolly and cheerful, because with the child's birth every [[heresy]] was going to be abolished and universal peace was going to be granted to the [[Church]] of God. So, for this reason this [[saint]] was called Euthymius (bringer of jollity). Since the saint's father died, his mother offered him to Eutrojos, [[bishop]] of Melitine, by whom he was counted with the order of clerics. Because he was clever at studying the holy things of God and surpassed all the virtuous men in virtue and [[asceticism]], he was forced to be ordained [[priest]] and accept to look after the holy [[hermitage]]s and [[Monastery|monasteries]]. When he was twenty-nine years old, he went to [[Jerusalem]] and lived with St. [[Theoctistus|Theoktistos]] in a cave on the mountain. While he was there, St. Euthymius liberated many men from the terrible chains of disease.
They also say that this saint fed four hundred men, who had come to the monastery, with very few loaves of bread. Moreover, not only did he break his mother's sterility
and was born, but also through [[prayer]] he proved even other barren and childless women to be fruitful and able to give birth to many children. He also opened the gates of heaven, as great [[Elijah]] had done, and brought rain with which he cured the earth which was only giving poor crop. The column of light, which was seen by the by-standers coming down from heaven while the saint was celebrating the [[Eucharist|bloodless sacrifice]], made the internal brightness of divine Euthymius' soul known as it shone over the saint till he ended the [[Liturgy]]. A sign and proof of the perfect purity and [[chastity]] of the saint was that he could spiritually see with the perceptive eye of his soul the mood and the condition of those souls which were approaching to receive the [[Holy Communion]] , i.e., he could see who approached with a clean conscience and who with a spotted one.
When he was ninety-six years old he depared to the Lord in 473 A. D., after establishing religious communities throughout Palestine. He had a graceful kind of face and his soul was simple and easy to reach. He was of white colour and according to his age and his body's stature he was respectable and [[Humility|humble]]. He had white hair and a long beard which reached as far down as his thighs.
They also say this about St. Euthymius : Once a [[monk]] was about to die. This monk outwardly appeared and was thought by many to be a prudent and abstemious saint but in his heart he was lecherous and imtemperate, because he used to accept and be sweetened with shameful thoughts. So, when this monk was about to die, as we have already said, blessed Euthymius saw an [[Angel]] breaking off and taking the soul of that miserable monk by force with a three-pronged spear which he held. Immediately the saint also heard a voice revealing all the hidden and shameful thoughts of that dying monk.
==Sources and further reading==
* [http://secure.britannica.com/eb/article-9033304 Saint Euthymius The Great -- Encyclopædia Britannica (subscription - free trial available)]
* [http://saints.oca.org/IconDirectory/LG/january/0120AEuthymiosthegreat.jpg Icon of St. Euthymius (OCA.org)]