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 he would attain in life. When it was Eutychius's turn he wrote: Eutychius--Patriarch! In his thirtieth year he became abbot of a 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 and by his zeal. When the debate began as to whether heretics could be anathematized after their deaths, he supported the opinion that they could be, by calling upon the Third Book of Kings 13:1-8 (in some translations called The First Book of Kings) and the Fourth Book of Kings 23:16 (in some translations called The Second Book of Kings). 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, not feeling hunger, thirst or pain. Eutychius adamantly opposed this heresy, for which the emperor exiled him to his original monastery. Eutychius remained there for twelve years and eight months. He 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 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 had faithfully and courageously served throughout his entire life.


When the Persian King Sapor plundered the lands of Byzantium, he enslaved 120 Christians. Since his attempts to persuade them to deny Christ and worship fire proved to be in vain, the king threw 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 their habitation in the mansions of Christ the King.



Eutychius witnessed Christ to the emperor:

"Christ," said he, "had a feeble body,

A body susceptible to hunger and pain,

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

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

But He raised glorified flesh into heaven.

Where would be the tears in an illusory body?

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

'I hunger! I thirst!' spoke the Truth.

Why do you make the Son of God a liar?

When He witnesses His hunger to the world,

You say to Him: 'Thou art satiated!' Do you say that to His face?

Thirsting, He cries out while hanging on the Cross,

And you respond to Him: 'Thou art not thirsty, Thou art not!'

O great Emperor, do not speak impurity.

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 you extinguish their flames.

Christ's sufferings are greater than all other sufferings.

The whole of history revolves around the Cross.

The Cross is thus honorable, awesome, and capable of healing,

Because it 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 are many mansions, said the Lord (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. You will not be a St. Anthony, but neither will St. Anthony, alone, occupy the Kingdom of God.


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 in His birth.


on victory over the last enemy

"The last enemy that shall 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 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 to conquer the devil for us. To die unto ourselves, to die to fleshly desires and passions--that is the price He seeks 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 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: Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).

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

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