The blessed Evdokia had been misled by Theodosius and had
followed his beliefs, which is why she left the ecclesiastic
communion of the universal Orthodox Church. She even did
her best so that the "Seceders" would prevail and be organized,
and she also struggled against all the Orthodox. It was
because of this, that all the monks of the holy city and of the
desert of Jerusalem had followed that apostasy, even though
Theodosius had been prosecuted and Juvenalius was on the throne.
Well, she had received a great number of letters from her
brother Valerius and from her daughter's husband to distance
herself from the heresy of the
Eutychianists and side
with the faith of the Orthodox Church. This was especially
stressed by them, also because of the terrible events that had
taken place in her family: the assassination of her son-in-law
in Rome and later the capture of her daughter and her
grandchildren in Africa. But she was worried and hesitant
and did not want to violate her conscience on account of her
relatives and betray the upright (as she believed) faith of
hers. That was why she thought of communicating with
god-bearing Fathers and from them learn the upright faith
properly. To this end, she sent the very virtuous local
bishop Anastasios - along with several others - to Antioch, to Saint
Simeon the Stylite, who was
famous all over the world and who glowed with the virtues he
had. Having written her thoughts on the matter of the
upright faith, she beseeched him for his God-pleasing opinion.
Saint Simeon replied to her as follows:
"Be aware that the
devil, upon seeing the bounty of your virtues, has sought to
winnow you like wheat. As for that Theodosius, the corrupter of
the upright faith, who became the vessel and the instrument of
the wily one, he has blurred your mind and unsettled your soul,
which loves and is loved by God. However, I was puzzled by
this thing: Although you have the well-spring near you,
you ignore it, and you run such a long distance to draw
spiritual water... Now then, close by you is the
God-bearing Efthymios. Follow his teachings and admonitions, and
you will be saved."
hearing this, the blessed Evdokia did not show any negligence
whatsoever. First of all, she found out that Efthymios the
Great does not concede to go to any city; so she went to the
highest place in the eastern desert, about thirty stadia (about
5500 metres) south of the Saint's Lavra (monastery) and there
built a turret, because she wished to enjoy the saint's
teachings more often, from that place. She furthermore
sent Kosmas the Cross Guardian and Anastasios the local bishop
to seek him out. They went to the Lavra, but did not find
him there. Having learnt that he was at Rouva, they took
the blessed Theoktistos along with them, and set off to meet him
there. And, having begged him at length and in many words, they
convinced him and brought him to Evdokia, to the turret she had
built and is now the place where the Monastery of Scholarios was
Evdokia saw Saint Efthymios, she was overwhelmed with joy.
She ran up to him, prostrated herself before him and said: "Now
I know that God has visited me, the unworthy one, with your
holy Elder, after giving his blessing, said the following to
yourself, my child, from now on. The fact that you had
become misled and followed the cunning beliefs of Theodosius,
means that you were influenced by the evil and disastrous events
of Italy. Move away from the cacodoxy. And, just as you accept
the faith of the three
- of Nicaea, which had convened against Arius, of
Constantinople, which had convened against Macedonius, and of
Ephesus, against Nestorius, so you should accept the Oros
(clause) proclaimed by the Council that convened in Chalcedon.
After you distance yourself from Dioscorus' communication, align
yourself on the side of the Archibishop of Jerusalem,
Juvenalius, and seek ecclesiastic communion with him"
Having said these things and
prayed for her and given her various counsels, he departed.
She had a great admiration for the saint's virtue. And
everything that he had told her, she went and enforced it,
immediately and in practice, with an awareness that she had
heard it from the mouth of God. She immediately went to
Jerusalem and through the ambassadors Kosmas and Anastasios,
contacted the Archibishop and aligned herself to the faith of
the Orthodox Church, thus also regaining ecclesiastic communion.
Her example was followed by many others - a multitude of
laypeople and monks - all who had been misled by Theodosius1.
of the Desert No.3 -Bios and Polity of our blessed father
Efthymios the Great", by Cyril of Skythopolis, "ZYME"