Venerable Chariton of Syanzhemsk, Vologda

Saint Euthymius and his disciple St Chariton lived at the River Syanzhema during the close of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth centuries. St Euthymius came to the Spasokamensk monastery from the outskirts of Volokolamsk. For a long time he continued as a novice at the monastery, but later he settled on the eastern shore of Lake Kuben near the mouth of the River Kushta.

The saint built a small cell in the impenetrable swamps and dense woods, where he struggled in total solitude. After a while, St Alexander of Kushta (June 9) came to him. He also had set out from the Spasokamensk monastery and at first settled at the River Syanzhema. St Alexander entreated St Euthymius to switch cells with him, since he was seeking a place of complete quiet.

Moving over to the River Syanzhema, St Euthymius did not refuse the local people his spiritual counsel and guidance. And there St Chariton also came to him.

St Euthymius built a church in honor of the Ascension of Christ and founded a monastery next to it. At Rostov, under the holy Archbishop Dionysius (1418-1425), he received the permission to build. Evidently, he was also ordained to the holy priesthood, and was made igumen of the monastery he established.

Both monks were an example to the brethren in prayer, and in the works of construction and supervision. They made do with food and clothing that even the brethren regarded as worthless. In church, St Euthymius stood in fear and trembling, and the brethren often saw tears of tenderness upon his face. While working at handicrafts, the saint always sang Psalms. St Euthymius died around the year 1465, though the actual day of his death is unknown.

His successor as igumen was his beloved disciple St Chariton. For more than forty years he continued the work at the monastery, and he died in old age on April 11, 1509. Both monks were buried at the Ascension church.

The memory of St Euthymius is celebrated also on January 20, and that of St Chariton on September 28, when their patron saints are commemorated.