Icon of SS Euthymios and Anthony (Dionysiou) – S32


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Dionysiou Monastery, Mt. Athos, Greece




These saints are two of the greatest monks, and two of the most influential in the development of Christian monasticism.   St. Anthony the Great (ca. 250-356) was Egyptian and is considered the founder of Christian monastic life as a distinct and unique life path.  He was called when young to live entirely dedicated to life when he heard the Gospel call the young rich man to sell all that he had, give it to the poor, and follow Christ.  Unlike that other young man, St. Anthony did exactly that.  Egyptian monasticism, especially the hermitic life, comes from St. Anthony.

St. Euthymios (377-473) lived the monastic life in Palestine.  The ruins of his monastery can be seen today and are found at Khan el-Ahmar in the Judean desert near Jerusalem.  He was the first founder of communal monastic life in Palestine and greatly influenced the subsequent direction it took, although it shifted later to SS Sabas and Theodosius in the Kidron Valley.  Of all of the miracles attributed to these two great saints, the greatest of all was their ability to draw many, many men out of the world into the monastic path of obedience, chastity, poverty, and stability.