Saint Euthymius, Abbot of the Monastery, and the twelve martyr monks with him

4 November 2011

St Euthymius was Abbot of the Monastery in the second half of the 13th century – at a critical period for Orthodoxy and the Holy Mountain. This was the time when the Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus and the Patriarch, John Beccus, wished to impose the decisions of the Council of Lyon (1271) on the union of the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.

According to tradition, the supporters of the union, returning from Lyon, arrived on the Holy Mountain and attempted to force the monks to embrace their pro-union views. St Euthymius, firmly grounded in the traditions of Orthodoxy, together with his 12 monks, reacted strongly against the pro-union plans of the Emperor and the Patriarch, with the result that they all met with a martyr’s death (1285). Abbot Euthymius was bound with a chain and thrown into the sea near Kalamitsi, while his 12 disciples were hanged in the area of Fourkovouni. Their feast day is on 4 January2.