Righteous Saint Evdokimos of Cappadocia
Commemorated on July 31/Aug 13
Saint Evdokimos, was from Cappadocia (Asia Minor), and lived during the 9th century during the reign of Emperor Theophilus (829-842). He was the son of pious Christians, Basil and Eudokia, an illustrious family known to the emperor. They brought up their son “in discipline and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6: 4), planting in his soul a sincere faith and holy virtues.
Saint Evdokimos was devoted to pleasing God and serving his neighbor. And he lived his life according to the Apostle’s declaration: to become a temple of the living God; for God to dwell in him, and walk about in him; for God to be his God, and for him to God’s man. The evil one incited many young men of Evdokimos’s age to enjoin him to engage in entertainments and diversions like hunting and partying. But Evokimos had as his favorite pastime that which gave him both comfort and edification: his love for praying and reading soul-saving books. Whether he prayed or read, his entire mind was completely focused on what he was doing. His soul watchful. His thoughts were riveted to the sacred words upon which he meditated. Evdokimos exercised prudence, sobriety, temperance, and purity. He had such love for God and neighbor and the commandments that he could boldly repeat those words of Job: “If my foot has turned aside out of the way, or if my heart has followed my eye, and if I have touched gifts with my hands, then let me sow, and let others eat; and let me be uprooted on the earth (Job 3:7-8). The most conspicuous act of self-mastery that Saint Evdokimos practised was the control of his eyes. Having given a vow to remain unmarried and chaste, he avoided conversation with women and did not look at them. He would speak only with his own mother, whom he greatly respected. This rule he followed as long as he was in this life. The emperor valued his virtue and talents, so he appointed St Evdokimos as governor of Chorziane, Armenia. Fulfilling his duty as a servant of God, St Evdokimos governed the people justly and with kindness. He concerned himself with the unfortunate, and with orphans and widows. He did not spare even those things he needed for his own welfare. He happily distributed not only what the poor needed, but also what he required. He gave his own money and necessities toward the welfare of others. He was a defender of the common people, and he was even able to free slaves. Saint Evdokimos knew the fruit of love is giving alms. He became a father of orphans, a guardian of widows, the raiment of the naked, the satiety of the hungry, and a comforter of the grief-stricken. His personal Christian exploits which he did in secret, were known only to God. Besides his good works, there was also his inviolate preservation of Orthodox doctrine as handed down by the holy fathers. He kept the Faith even from his earliest youth.
Evdokimos pleased God by his blameless life, and the Lord called him at the age of 33. Lying on his deathbed, St Eudocimus gave final instructions to place him in the grave in those clothes in which he would meet death. Then he sent everyone out of the room and entreated the Lord that no one would see his end, just as no one saw his secret efforts during life. His attendants buried him as he had instructed them. Right after the death of St Eudocimus miracles took place at his grave. Many sick people were healed, and the news of the miraculous healings spread.
After 18 months, the mother of St Evdokimos came from Constantinople to venerate his relics. She gave orders to remove the stone, dig up the ground, and open the grave. Everyone beheld the face of the saint, bright as if alive, altogether untouched by decay. A great fragrance came from him. They took up the coffin with the relics from the earth, and they dressed the saint in new clothes. His mother wanted to take the relics of her son to Constantinople, but the Kharsian people would not clear a path for their holy one. After a certain time the hieromonk Joseph, having lived and served at the grave of the saint, transported the relics of St Evdokimos to Constantinople. There they were placed in a silver reliquary in the church of the Most Holy Theotokos, built by the parents of the saint.
Saint Evdokimos is considered by the Orthodox Church to be one of the special protectors and intercessors before God of the family hearth. He was, as his name implies, truly successful in every virtue.