November 4, 2023

Elder Eusebius Vittis: He Lived in Poverty, Delighted in Mercy

By Dr. Haralambos M. Bousias,
Great Hymnographer of the Church of Alexandria

The Most Venerable Elder Eusebius Vittis (+ Nov. 4, 2009), the missionary, spiritual guide, merciful, usurper of the kingdom of heaven, ascetic, was a man of complete dedication to the service of his neighbor, a man who showed his love for our beloved Jesus.

He was a man who "was born to become a saint", according to his kinsman in virtue Metropolitan Nikolaos Selentis of Halkidos.

The Elder tried day and night to bring everyone who is in ignorance to knowledge, the knowledge that leads to salvation; everyone who is drowning in the tumult of sin, to save him by throwing him the life jacket of faith, the life jacket of God's love, the life jacket of repentance and a change of lifestyle; everyone who suffers, to give him the caress of compassion in practice; everyone who was afflicted by the lack of goods, he gave an abundance of goods and let himself live in poverty.

Elder Eusebius had nothing of his own - he did not wish to have, but to give, to spread to others and thus to feel a unique fulfillment.

He scattered generously, had mercy on everyone, took care of the oppressed, illuminated the darkness of sinners with the light of the knowledge of our Illuminator Christ, healed the wounds of those wounded by the powers of darkness with the balm of the gospel of love and worked the flesh hard with lasting privations, in which he glorified without ceasing the desire of his heart.

He was literally running around, knocking on doors, asking for doctors, offering every penny he had, to see the laughter of joy, health, and spiritual renewal bloom on the faces of those who asked for his assistance.

He showed mercy without discrimination and without thinking of being repaid. He was waiting for this from our merciful God, who would surely give it to him with His infinitely loving heart without asking for it.

Fully educated with a Christ-centered life, he knew the affirmation of our Lord: "I will repay" (Hebrews 10:30), and that His reward will not be material. It will be imperishable blessedness, it will be our entrance into His infinite Kingdom.

On this earth where we live, we must ask our God to open our spiritual eyes, so that we can see to distinguish our earthly residence from the heavenly one, the temporary residence or hotel on earth from our permanent residence which is in heaven, darkness from light, the mud of the marsh from the pure earth, the flesh from the spirit, the power of God from the power of the ruler of this age, i.e. the devil, the shadow of death from the moon of eternal life.

The intention of our acts of mercy and its practical expression reflects our love for our God.

Elder Eusebius absolutely believed that by spending ourselves in acts of mercy and giving from our possessions to the poor, we become rich in eternal goods. By giving a little of what is not ours, but has been given to us by God, He returns it to us richly.

Acts of mercy show a humble heart, a heart with fear of God, which deserves to be loved by Him and which certainly enjoys His love.

It shows a living heart and not a dead one. It shows a heart that lives and breathes with the presence of Christ in its life, which must be continuous and unfailing, just as acts of mercy must also be continuous according to the saying of the Apostle Paul: "Share for the needs of the saints" (Rom. 12:13).

The verb "share", meaning to be constantly interested in the needs of others, is in the present tense, which means continuous. Life, then, means constant acts of mercy. We live to be merciful.

And Elder Eusebius lived to have mercy, he breathed the air of philanthropy that cools in the heat and warms in the cold.

Now from heaven he has mercy on us with his prayers to the Lord, he does not leave us to the tyranny of deprivations, sorrows and disappointments. And we absolutely need his blessings.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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