Prologue of Ohrid


April 6


Eutychius was born in Phrygia of pious and devout parents. His father was an officer. Once, as a child, when Eutychius was playing with his playmates, their game was that each of them would write his name on a wall and, beside his name, would guess what rank each of them would attain in life. When it was Eutychius' turn he wrote: Eutychius--Patriarch! In his thirtieth year he became abbot of the monastery in Amasea. At age forty, he was sent by the Metropolitan of Amasea to represent him at the Fifth Ecumenical Council [Constantinople, 553 A.D.]. At the Council, he glowed like a shining star among the Fathers of the Church, both by his learning as well as by his zealousness. When the debate began whether heretics could be anathematized after their deaths, he supported the opinion that they could be, by calling upon the Third Book of Kings (in some translations, called The First Book of Kings) 13: 1-8 and the Fourth Book of Kings (in some translations, called The Second Book of Kings) 23:16. Eutychius endeared himself greatly to Emperor Justinian and Patriarch Menas. The emperor sought his advice on many occasions, and Patriarch Menas (who at that time was very rich) designated Eutychius as his successor, imploring the emperor to carry this out in deed. And so it happened! St. Eutychius governed the Church in peace for twelve years. Then the devil raised up a tempest against him. This tempest reached Justinian himself. The emperor became deluded and succumbed to the Monophysite heresy (Aphthartodocetism), which falsely taught that the Lord Jesus, before His Resurrection, had a divine and incorruptible body, without feeling hunger, thirst or pain. Eutychius adamantly stood up against this heresy, for which the emperor banished him into exile to his original monastery. Eutychius remained there for twelve years and eight months, and proved himself to be a great miracle-worker, healing people of various illnesses through prayer, and by anointing them with holy oil. Justinian repented and died, and was succeeded by Justin, who then restored Eutychius to the patriarchal throne, where this saint remained, governing the Church of God in peace until his death. In 582 A.D., in his seventieth year, he took up his habitation in the Kingdom of Christ the Lord, Whom he faithfully and courageously served throughout his entire life.


When the Persian Emperor Sapor plundered the lands of Byzantium, he enslaved one-hundred twenty Christians. Since his attempts to persuade them to deny Christ and worship fire proved to be in vain, the emperor tossed them into the fire and burned them alive. Among those martyrs were nine virgins dedicated to God. They all suffered honorably between the years 344 and 347 A.D., and took up habitation in the mansions of Christ the King.



Euthychius witnessed Christ to the Emperor:

"Christ," said he, "a weakened body He had,

A body susceptible to hunger and pain,

Similar to, but not the same as, the body on the Throne.

The air of a servant, on earth, the King of Glory bore,

But the glorified flesh, into heaven He riased.

Where would the tears be in an illusory body?

Where the bloody sweat, O Emperor--on an illusory brow?

'I am hungry! I am thirsty!' spoke the Truth [Christ].

Why do you make the Son of God a liar?

When His hunger He witnesses to the world,

You say to Him: 'You are satiated!' Do you speak that to His face?

When thirsty, He cries out while on the Cross hanging,

And to Him you respond: 'Thirsty You are not, You are not!'

O great Emperor, impurity do not speak.

Behind your words the demon himself hides.

In vain do you build churches, when you destroy the Faith;

And vain are your votive offerings, when their flames you extinguish.

Christ's sufferings, than all other sufferings, are greater.

The whole of history revolves around the Cross.

For that, the Cross is honorable, capable of healing and awesome,

Because it [the Cross of Christ] is the source of pain, brimming over and abundant.

On the Cross is Christ--a man nailed,

Blood, sweat and moaning--and not a dream that is dreamed."


It is said about an ancient orator that he labored day and night to perfect himself in the art of oratory. Someone said to him: "Demosthenes does not want you to be the chief orator." To which he immediately retorted: "Neither will I allow him to be the only one." If you cannot be a first-class saint like St. Anthony, do not shrug your shoulders and say: "Nothing can come of me!" Increase your efforts and double your talent. In my Father's house, there are many dwelling places, said the Lord (St. John 14:2). If you merit to settle in the least of these dwelling places, you will be more glorious and more fortunate than all of the rulers who have ever existed on earth. To each according to his own talent. Neither will you be a St. Anthony, nor will St. Anthony, alone, occupy the Kingdom of God.


To contemplate the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus:

1. How the stone on the tomb did not split, neither was the seal on it broken;

2. How the All-powerful and meek Lord did not damage the tomb during His Resurrection, as the Virgin's womb was not harmed at the time of His birth.


About the victory over the last enemy

"The last enemy to be destroyed is death" (1 Corinthians 15:26).

Man's first enemy is the devil, the second is sin and the third is death. The Lord Jesus conquered all three of these enemies of the human race. By His humiliation, He conquered the proud devil; by His death He conquered sin; and by His Resurrection He conquered death. In conquering all of our enemies, He invites us to be partakers in His glorious victory. It is not that we ourselves conquer, but that we are joined to the Victor. Only His power conquers, only His weapons vanquish. We are without power and weapons, but our enemies are frightful. With Him and alongside Him, we conquer those mightier than ourselves. What is the price that He offers to us for His victory? A meager price, my brethren; for a very paltry price He offers us the most precious victory. To humble ourselves and to submit ourselves to the will of God--that is the price He seeks in order to conquer the devil for us. To die unto ourselves, to die to fleshly desires and passions--that is the price which He seeks in order to conquer sin for us. To live for Him and not for ourselves, to receive Him into our hearts--that is the price He seeks in order to conquer death for us. He conquered all the enemies openly and completely, but this is the price for which He offers His victory to each of us. The Apostle Paul says: But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).

O resurrected Lord, enlighten, strengthen and heal us by Your victory.

We who are grateful raise up to Thee glory and praise forever. Amen.
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