St‭. ‬Euphrosynos the Cook‭er

09-11

Having borne the weight of all things unbearable with courage‭,‬ Euphrosynos now rejoices in divine delight‭.‬

By St‭. ‬Dimitri of Rostov‭:‬

Our holy monastic father Euphrosynos was born of simple parents although he surpassed even those of noble lineage in good euphrosynos450works‭.‬‭ ‬For there are many who are devoid of good works‭, ‬despite their noble birth‭, ‬and so are cast down into Hades while the simple in‭ ‬their humility are lifted up to paradise by God as was the godly Euphrosynos‭. ‬Because of his virtuous life he was translated to‭ ‬paradise‭, ‬as we will see‭, ‬and was shown to be an inhabitant there‭.‬

Euphrosynos lived in a monastery where he served the brethren‭, ‬laboring in the kitchen and serving them with great humility and‭ ‬submissiveness as though they were not men but God Himself‭. ‬He labored in obedience day and night‭, ‬but he never left off praying‭ ‬and fasting‭. ‬His patience was inexpressible‭. ‬He bore much abuse and disparagement and suffered frequent vexations‭. ‬Scorched by‭ ‬the material fire of the cookstove‭, ‬he was warmed by the spiritual fire of the love of God‭, ‬and his heart burned with longing for the Lord‭. ‬While passing his days preparing food for the brethren‭, ‬he at the same time prepared a table for himself in the kingdom of God by his virtuous life‭, ‬where he would eat his fill with those of whom it is said‭, ‬Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God‭. ‬He served the Lord secretly so that he might be rewarded by Him openly‭, ‬even as it came to pass‭.‬

The Lord’s reward to His servant was made manifest in the following manner‭. ‬A certain priest who lived in the same monastery prayed fervently to the Lord that He reveal to him the things which are prepared for them that love Him‭. ‬One night he had a vision‭. ‬It seemed to him that he was standing in a garden‭, ‬and as he considered the unutterable beauty of this garden‭, ‬he saw Euphrosynos‭, ‬the monastery’s cook‭, ‬walking by‭. ‬The priest approached him and asked‭, ‬‮«‬Brother Euphrosynos‭, ‬what is this place‭? ‬Can this be paradise‭?‬‮»‬

‮«‬It is paradise‭, ‬Father‭,‬‮»‬‭ ‬answered Euphrosynos‭.‬

Again the priest inquired‭, ‬‮«‬How is that you are here‭?‬‮»‬

Euphrosynos the cook replied‭, ‬‮«‬This is the dwelling place of God’s elect‭, ‬and by God’s great goodness I have made my abode here as well‭.‬‮»‬

The priest asked‭, ‬‮«‬Do you have authority over all these beautiful things‭?‬‮»‬

Euphrosynos replied‭, ‬‮«‬As far as I am able‭, ‬I distribute to others the things you see here‭.‬‮»‬

The priest inquired‭, ‬‮«‬Can you give me some portion of these things‭?‬‮»‬

‮«‬By the grace of my God‭, ‬take what you desire‭,‬‮»‬‭ ‬Euphrosynos said‭.‬

The priest then pointed to some apples and asked for them‭. ‬Euphrosynos took three apples‭, ‬placed them in a kerchief‭, ‬and gave them to the priest‭, ‬saying‭, ‬‮«‬Take what you have requested and delight therein‭.‬‮»‬

At that moment‭, ‬the semantron was struck for Matins‭, ‬and the priest awoke and came to himself‭. ‬He thought that he had been dreaming‭, ‬but when he stretched out his hand to pick up his handkerchief‭, ‬he found in it the three apples that he had received from Euphrosynos in the vision‭. ‬They gave off an ineffable fragrance‭. ‬Amazed‭, ‬he arose from his couch‭, ‬placed the apples on the bed‭, ‬and went to church where he found Euphrosynos standing together with the brethren at the morning service‭. ‬Approaching Euphrosynos‭, ‬the priest implored him to reveal where he had been that night‭.‬

Euphrosynos replied‭, ‬‮«‬Forgive me‭, ‬Father‭; ‬I have been in that place where we saw one another‭.‬‮»‬

The priest said‭, ‬‮«‬You must reveal God’s greatness‭, ‬so that the truth is not concealed‭!‬‮»‬

But the wise Euphrosynos humbly answered‭, ‬‮«‬You‭, ‬Father‭, ‬implored the Lord to reveal to you the reward given to His chosen‭. ‬The Lord was pleased to make this known to your godliness through me‭, ‬wretched and unworthy as I am‭, ‬and thus‭, ‬we found ourselves together in paradise‭.‬‮»‬

The priest inquired‭, ‬‮«‬What did you give me‭, ‬Father‭, ‬in paradise when I spoke with you‭?‬‮»‬

‮«‬I gave you the three fragrant apples which you have placed on your bed in your cell‭,‬‮»‬‭ ‬answered Euphrosynos‭. ‬‮«‬But forgive me‭, ‬Father‭, ‬for I am a worm and not a man‭.‬‮»‬

When Matins had finished‭, ‬the priest summoned the brethren and showed them the three apples from paradise‭, ‬and he told them exactly what had occurred‭. ‬All smelled the ineffable fragrance emitted by those apples and discerned their spiritual sweetness‭, ‬and‭ ‬they marvelled at what they were told by the priest‭. ‬They hurried to the kitchen to reverence the servant of God‭, ‬but they could‭ ‬not find him‭. ‬When Euphrosynos left the church‭, ‬he hid from the glory of men‭, ‬and no one knew where he had gone‭. ‬It is pointless to inquire into his whereabouts‭, ‬for if he had access to paradise‭, ‬where could he not have hidden himself‭?‬

The brethren divided the apples among themselves and distributed pieces of them as a blessing to many‭, ‬especially to those who were in need of healing‭. ‬Whoever ate of these apples was healed of his infirmities‭, ‬and thus‭, ‬all received great benefit from the‭ ‬holy and venerable Euphrosynos‭. ‬The account of the vision was written down not only on scrolls but also in the hearts of those‭ ‬who were told of it‭, ‬and all who heard thereof strove to increase their labors and please God‭.‬

By the prayers of the venerable Euphrosynos‭, ‬may the Lord deem us also worthy to dwell in paradise‭. ‬Amen‭.‬

Source‭: ‬The Great Collection of the Lives of the Saints‭, ‬Volume 1‭: ‬September

Apolytikion in Plagal of the First Tone

With a humble heart Father Euphrosynos‭, ‬you offered your service as a cook‭, ‬and you were truly filled with the Holy Spirit‭, ‬wherefore the glory of God became known in you‭, ‬through a venerable priest‭; ‬make us also partakers of the same‭, ‬God-bearer‭, ‬through‭ ‬your intercessions‭.‬

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone

You partook of heavenly gladness‭, ‬which came to pass Euphrosynos‭, ‬due to your angelic life‭, ‬and you were seen to be equal in honor to the Angels‭, ‬with them do beseech‭, ‬on behalf of those who honor you‭.‬

Megalynarion

You lived as an ascetic like an angel on earth‭, ‬in a virtuous manner‭, ‬you purified your soul‭; ‬wherefore without ceasing you partake in gladness‭, ‬intercede for us Father Euphrosynos‭.

 

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