Commemorated on November 9
Monks Euphymios and Neophytes of Dokhiareia, an uncle and his nephew,
belonged to the highest Byzantine aristocracy. The Monk Euphymios, while still
in the world, merited honour to be the friend of the Monk Athanasias of Athos
(Comm. 5 July), and he afterwards became a novice and disciple of the great
ascetic. For his sincere love of the brethren, gentleness and his particular
zeal in the ascetic life, Saint Athanasias granted the monk the duty of steward
(dokhiar or economos), which the Monk Euphymios fulfilled as though entrusted
on him by God Himself.
Euphymios settled with several of the monks in the locale of Daphnos, where he
founded a monastery in the name of Saint Nicholas, and called by him Dokhiareia
in memory of his obedience. Guiding his own younger brethren, the Monk
Euphymios taught the necessity of attention towards self, to all the stirrings
of the soul, explaining that the struggle of Christians – according to the
Apostle Paul, is not "against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
and against powers, and against the world-rulers of darkness of this age"
(Eph. 6: 12). The peaceful ascetic life of the monks was disturbed by the
Saracens. The monk led all the brethren into the forest. Returning, they found
the monastery wrecked to its very foundations. The Monk Euphymios did not lose
heart, and the monastery was rebuilt again. The Monk Neophytes in the world was
a companion of the emperor Nicephoros Phocas (963-969). Upon the death of his
parents he came to Athos, where he took vows in the monastery of his uncle the
Monk Euphymios. Before his death, the Monk Euphymios transferred the running of
the monastery to his nephew. Under the spiritual guidance of the Monk Neophytes
the small monastery grew into a Laura. Having proposed to the emperor
Nicephoros to become an endower (contributor) of the monastery, the Monk
Neophytes enlarged the monastery to the present Dokhiareia dimensions. The Monk
Neophytes was deigned to be chosen "proton" (heading the
"protatum" – the council of elders of the Holy Mountain) and for
many years he laboured there. After taking leave of the protatum in his
declining years, the monk returned to the Dokhiareia monastery, where
peacefully he expired to the Lord (X).
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.