March 23, 2023

A Letter of the Venerable New Martyr Euthymios to His Trainer and Elder Written On the Day of His Martyrdom

In the Life of the Venerable New Martyr Euthymios, we have preserved five letters he wrote on the day of his martyrdom in Constantinople, which took place on Palm Sunday the 22nd of March in the year 1814. 
One of these letters is addressed to his trainer and elder Akakios, who trained and prepared him to face his voluntary martyrdom, since prior to this, while in the world, Euthymios had become a Muslim in Constantinople, even though he was a baptized Orthodox Christian. When he repented of his apostasy, he fled to Mount Athos to confess his sin, become a monk, and under his elder Akakios he trained in extreme ascetic feats to return to Constantinople, publicly renounce Islam, and confess his Christian faith, thereby completing his repentance, which he knew would result in torture and martyrdom. 
Below is the letter he wrote to his trainer and elder Akakios on the day of his martyrdom.

To Akakios.
On Mount Athos, the 22nd of March, 1814.

Your venerableness, holy father, and dearly beloved elder Akakios, I venerate and kiss your holy right hand.

Behold, my father, with your holy blessing I set out at this hour to appear before the assembly of impiety, so as to recover that which I lost. May the holy God, and the holy Theotokos, and the honorable Forerunner, and all the Saints help me in this great struggle; for you, my father, know my illness, having had me as the apple of your eye, as a mother for her only begotten son.

If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have accomplished anything. But, my most holy father, with what language can I thank you for this assistance, which you did for me the lost sheep, whom the bloodthirsty wolf devil wanted to tear apart!

But glory be to the authority of my Lord, who unfailingly rescued me from the throat of the devil, and brought me to your blessed home, and I recognized what was beneficial to my soul.

In you, my most holy father, that prophetic word of the Lord was fulfilled: "If you will bring forth the precious from the worthless, you shall be as my mouth." It was repaid for what you did to your least servant, because if I did not have your help, I would not be able to do anything.

Behold I bestow to you the last embrace, and may the grace of my Lord and the Theotokos help me in my coming tortures.

May our Lord Jesus Christ have us inseparable in the eternal future, as we were on earth.

My most honorable father and my beloved sweetest master, today, on Palm Sunday, as the Lord willingly submitted to His voluntary passion, so I, the sinner, go to the hands of the accursed Ottomans to atone for the justice of the Lord for the multitude of my iniquities. May your holy prayers accompany me in this athletic struggle. Amen.

Your most worthless servant,
Euthymios monk, venerates you.
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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