St Euthymius the Elder of the St John the Baptist Monastery

Saint Euthymius was abbot of the Monastery of St. John the Baptist in the Davit-Gareji Wilderness. In the chronicles of the monastery he is commemorated as a “man of many labors.”

According to the 19th-century historian Prince John Bagrationi, Euthymius was a philosopher and theologian and an outstanding preacher. He dedicated his life to improving the monastery and rebuilt the nearby village of Khashmi, which had been utterly razed by Dagestani thieves. In Khashmi he constructed a mill and planted a vineyard with a rare variety of grapes. He adorned the monastery and expanded the estate surrounding the complex. At his instruction, a great number of theological works were translated, and many rare books were recopied. St. Euthymius instructed several of his pupils in philosophy and theology as well.

After receiving a commission from Bishop Saba of Ninotsminda, St. Euthymius composed an Akathist hymn to St. Nino the Equal to-the-Apostles and Enlightener of Georgia.

In 1797 the black plague broke out in Tbilisi and residents fled from the city. Like true guardian angels, monastics and hermits abandoned their isolated cells and arrived to minister to the sick and the suffering. As he had in so many other worthy endeavors, St. Euthymius served as the leader and inspiration behind these works of mercy.

The pious Euthymius reposed peacefully in the year 1804.