Sainted Lucius (Leukios) the Confessor

Commemorated on June 20

      Sainted Lucius (Leukios) the Confessor was born in the city of Alexandria of pious parents named Eudykios and Euphrosynia. They gave their son the name Eutropios. The mother died when the lad was 11 years old, and his father took monastic tonsure at the monastery of Saint Hermias, taking along his son with him to the monastery. The boy was raised under the spiritual guidance of the hegumen Nikita and also experienced monastic elders. The boy showed himself to be very capable, and assiduously he studied Holy Scripture. Eutropios grew up into a quiet, meek and obedient lad. When he reached age 18, the hegumen Nikita died. The brethren of the monastery unanimously chose Eutropios as hegumen, even though he was not yet tonsured into monasticism. Reckoning himself unworthy to guide someone at something he was not, Eutropios refused. For seven years the monastery of Saint Hermias remained without head. And in these years Eutropios, asceticising at monastic deeds, attained to an high degree of spiritual life.
      One time Eutropios set off on the feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God to visit all the churches of the Dormition in the surroundings of the city of Alexandria. At the celebrations presided Hellios, bishop of Heliopolis, together with his clergy. At the same time he visited the monastery headed by the hegumen Theodore. And it was at this monastery that both father and son then remained. By night the father Eudykios had a revelation about his own approaching end, and also that his son would become a bishop and enlighten with the light of the Christian faith the city and region of Brundusium (Grk. form Bruntisiopolis, now Brindisi in Calabria-Apuleia) in Italy. And in this same vision there was foretold for Eutropios his new name Lucius (Leukios), meaning "the Spirit of the Lord is come upon him". And it was on the Dormition feastday in the church of the Mother of God that bishop Hellios heard a voice from Heaven, blessing "Leukios" for archpastoral service, and he directed the archdeacon to enquire of those praying who it was that bore this name. Then with love he blessed Saint Lucius and his father.
      The monks of the Hermias monastery earnestly besought the bishop to install Saint Lucius as hegumen of the monastery. Although the ascetic initially refused, considering himself unworthy, he then submitted himself to the bishop and was ordained to the priestly dignity and was made hegumen.
      From this time Saint Lucius intensified his efforts, and he was granted by God the grace of wonderworking, and casting out demons. One time a devil assumed the form of an immense serpent, and killed many in the nearby villages. The holy ascetic hastened to come to the aid of the villagers and he delivered them from the power of the devil. Seeing this, about three thousand pagans in the vicinity accepted Baptism.
      During this period the Alexandria bishop Philip died a martyr, and Saint Lucius was chosen in his place. Seeing that Saint Lucius was converting many a pagan to Christianity, the eparch Saturninus decided to kill him. And wanting to defend their archpastor, certain of the Christians wanted to kill the eparch. Learning of this, the saint forbade them to cause the eparch any harm. Saint Lucius declared to his flock, that the Lord had commanded him to go to a pagan land and to enlighten with the light of the Christian faith the city of Bruntisiopolis and its surrounding region.
      The holy archpastor established in his place a worthy bishop, and he then took with him the deacons Eusebios and Dionysios and five students, and they hastened onto a ship sailing for Italy. Along the way they were joined by the presbyters Leon and Sabinus, and upon their journey to Brundusium the saint met up with the tribune Armaleon and his 67 soldiers, all whom he converted to Christianity. In the city he began to preach to the people about Christ Jesus. The head of the city, named Antiochus, learned that the tribune Armaleon had converted to the faith in Christ, and so he summoned him and for a long time he asked questions about the Christian teaching. And learning about Saint Lucius, the governor wanted to meet him. At the meeting the governor said: "If thou desire that we believe in the God that thou preachest, beseech Him to send down rain upon our land, which we have not seen these two years already". The saint, having summoned his clergy and all the newly-baptised Christians, made fervent supplication, after which there poured down rain in abundance, soaking the parched earth. Seeing this miracle, Antiochus and all the city of Brundusium (27,000 people) accepted holy Baptism. In memory of this event, in the city was built a church in honour of the Mother of God, and at the spot where the people were baptised a second church, in honour of Saint John the Baptist.
      Soon the saint fell ill, and it was foretold to him in a vision, that he would die of the sickness. Summoning his spiritual son Antiochus, Saint Lucius gave final instructions to bury him at the place, where the ship carrying him from Alexandria had landed. Antiochus fulfilled the request of the archpastor and built on this spot a church in the name of Saint Lucius. In it were transferred the relics of the saint, from which occurred numerous miracles.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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