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July 4, 2024

Finding of the Relics of our Venerable Father Euthymius of Suzdal the Wonderworker

Finding of the Relics of Saint Euthymius of Suzdal (Feast Day - July 4)

After the death of the Venerable Archimandrite Euthymius the Wonderworker and many other abbots of the Monastery of the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ, located in the city of Suzdal,1 there was an archimandrite from among the monks of the same monastery, named Constantine. During his time in 1501, by God's permission, a fire broke out and the monastery burned down. After this, Constantine began to worry about whether he had somehow offended Venerable Euthymius, whether he had violated his commandments or the customs he had established in the monastery, and whether this was why there was a fire in the monastery? But Venerable Euthymius appeared in a dream to one of the monks and said to him:

"Brother! Tell Archimandrite Constantine that I have nothing against him."

Having gotten up from sleep, this monk went to Archimandrite Constantine and told him what he had seen in his dream. After listening to the story, Constantine rejoiced that he had received forgiveness and gave praise to God, who accomplishes wondrous deeds through His Saint, the Venerable Euthymius. Some time after this, some pious people donated to the monastery what was needed to rebuild the burned cells, and Archimandrite Constantine built them according to the same plan to which they had been built before.

When Archimandrite Constantine died, his place in the monastery was taken by an archimandrite named Kirill, one of the monks of the same monastery, who later became the archbishop of the city of Rostov. Being a wise man in both spiritual and worldly matters, Kirill took every possible care, as far as possible, to ensure that nothing from the rules of community life and customs of the monastery were violated. A good thought about the church came to his heart, and he began to consult with the brethren about building a new church, larger than the former one, for although they had a stone church in the monastery, it was small and, moreover, had already fallen into disrepair. since it was built by Venerable Euthymius himself.2 All this was the work of the Providence of the omnipotent God, so that His word would come true from the Gospels: “A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid” (Matthew 5:14), and: “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed" (Luke 8:16; Matt. 5:15). So it was impossible for this lamp, the Venerable Euthymius, to be hidden underground for so many years. 
 
When work had already begun on building a large church and workers were digging a ditch on its right side, they found a coffin surrounded by three stones and covered with boards.3 Confused by this discovery, the workers went and told Archimandrite Kirill about it. Then the latter ordered for the semantron to be struck.4 Immediately the brethren gathered at the grave, rejoicing with very great joy. After this, the archimandrite took some of the brethren with him, went to Bishop Symeon and told him about the wondrous miracle. After listening to the story, Bishop Symeon glorified God for this miracle, and said the following words quoting Scripture:

“Lord, you hid these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes” (Matthew 11:25).


Soon after this, he and all the clergy came to the monastery and venerated the grave of Venerable Euthymius, thanking God, who glorifies His saints. Then they opened the coffin and saw that the Saint’s face was illuminated and the clothes that were on him seemed to have been worn only yesterday. An amazing miracle! So many years had passed and not only the body of the Saint had not decayed, but even his clothes had not been touched by decay!5 Having kissed the relics of the venerable father, while singing funeral psalms and hymns, they placed them in the wall of the Church of the Transfiguration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, where they remain to this day. This happened on the 4th day of July 1507. Glory to our God now, always and forever.

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1 This is the Spaso-Evfimiev Monastery, founded by the Venerable Euthymius at the request and at the expense of the Suzdal prince Boris Konstantinovich around 1352 along the banks of the Kamennitsa or Kamenni river near the city of Suzdal. The foundation of the monastery is described in the life of Saint Euthymius, who is celebrated on the 1st day of the month of April.

2 This church was consecrated around 1352, therefore more than 150 years had passed since its construction.

3 At the foundation of the Transfiguration Church, the Venerable Euthymius hewed these three stones with his own hands and made a place from them for his coffin at the northern doors of the future altar, near the holy altar, where he was subsequently buried.

4 In monasteries, a semantron is a board which is beaten to call monks to church or to a meal.

5 Venerable Euthymius died on April 1, 1404/5; therefore, more than a hundred years passed from the day of his death to the discovery of the relics.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.
 
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