On May 12, the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church blessed the local veneration of the Holy Hierarch Eumenius (Khorolsky), Archbishop of Zhytomyr and Ovruch, within the Zhytomyr Diocese, and established his feast day as August 12/25. The liturgical glorification of the saint was celebrated by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine and a host of hierarchs and clergy on that date at the cathedral in Zhytomyr.
Life of St. Eumenius (Khorolsky) (1886-1967)
Archbishop Eumenius (Evgeny Nikolaevich Khorolsky in the world) was born on December 13/25, 1886 in the village of Bogo-Rozhdestvenka, Petrovsk District, Ananev County, Kherson Governorate (now the Nikolaevka District of the Odessa Province). He was baptized and chrismated by Fr. John Lipsky.
In 1902, he graduated from the village’s parish school. In 1905, he graduated from the Church teachers’ school in the village of Demidovka, Tiraspol County, Kherson Governorate.
Later that year, he was received at Holy Trinity Monastery in Kiev as a novice, and in 1908, as a novice at Holy Trinity Monastery in Saratov. Bishop Dionysiy (Prozorovsky) of Petrovsk, the vicar of the Saratov Diocese, blessed him with the obedience of being his personal secretary. In 1918, Evgeny was accepted as a novice at St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery in Kiev, and on December 7 of that year, he was tonsured into monasticism with the name Eumenius.
On March 24, 1919, he was ordained as a hierodeacon. In 1920, he was elevated to the rank of archdeacon. After the seizure of the Golden-Domed Monastery by the Renovationists, he joined the brotherhood of the Holy Dormition-Kiev Caves Lavra in 1924. In 1925, he was sent to the Lavra’s dependency in Leningrad. He also graduated from the two-year theological program at the Leningrad Theological Institute (St. Petersburg Theological Academy).
He was arrested on August 23, 1930. By decision of the local Troika, he was convicted and sent to the NKVD Belomorkanalstroi concentration camp.
On March 19, 1946, Archdeacon Eumenius returned to the Kiev Caves Lavra as a brother. He was elected to the monastery’s spiritual council and became the steward and a member of the Lavra’s inspection commission. On March 12, 1950, he was ordained a hieromonk. On May 12, 1951, he was awarded the pectoral cross.
On February 28, 1954, he was consecrated a bishop at St. Vladimir Cathedral in Kiev and he took over the administration of the Chernivtsi Diocese. On December 8, 1958, he was elevated to the rank of archbishop. On January 1, 1959, he took over the Zhytomyr Diocese. On May 11, 1963, he was awarded the right to have a cross on his klobuk. On December 15, 1966, he was awarded the Order of Prince Vladimir, Second Degree.
He reposed at seven in the morning on August 25, 1967.
Miracles during his lifetime
Archpriest Sergei Yavets (secretary of the diocesan court and chairman of the theological commission of the Shakhty and Millerovo Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church): Metropolitan John had a miraculous vision in which the lot of episcopal ministry fell upon the steward of the Lavra, the already aged Fr. Eumenius. The Mother of God thus indicated her choice to the Metropolitan.
Protodeacon Boris: I started thinking about getting ordained to the priesthood and going to serve in a parish somewhere. I was censing at the Ninth Ode of the Canon, and Vladyka said to me: “Fr. Boris, come see me after the service.” So I went to talk to him after the First Hour. Vladyka said: “Get rid of those foolish thoughts.” I asked: “Vladyka, forgive me, what are you referring to?” And he replied: “You serve in the cathedral, and only in the cathedral.” I hadn’t said anything to anyone and hadn’t discussed these thoughts with anyone—I had kept this question to myself.
Schemanun Matrona: Vladyka Eumenius had a vision when he was living in the diocesan house next to the Holy Dormition-Podolsk Church. One night, after his prayers, he got up and through the window he saw the Mother of God leave the church and ascend heavenward.
After Vladyka’s repose, the Soviet authorities closed this church. Vladyka appeared to Mother Evphalia after his death and said, “Whoever prays for me I will remember before the throne of God.”
Gennady Sladkevich, choir director at the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral: I was working at the train station, but when they found out that I serve in the cathedral, my boss called me in and said “Why are you serving these priests in the Church. Do you get paid?” I asked Vladyka what to do—maybe I should leave the church, work until retirement, and just quietly come to the cathedral? Vladyka said: “No, no, no. Today there’s one boss, and tomorrow another!” The next day I went to work and found out that my boss had had a heart attack. He died soon thereafter. A new boss came and worked until he retired. I served as cathedral choir director for fifty-five years.
The circumstances of his repose
The day of Vladyka’s repose was revealed to him. Early in the morning, at around five or six o’clock, Vladyka got up from bed, went to the sink, washed himself, anointed himself with holy oil, and blessed those with him to read the Canon at the Departure of the Soul. They started reading, and when they finished, Vladyka lay down on his bed, crossed himself, and said: “Into Thy hands to I commit my spirit, O Lord,” and peacefully reposed.
Fresh blood started streaming from Archbishop Eumenius’ relics three years after his repose, in 1970. They looked and saw that his coffin was open, his arms and legs were torn off, and his heart was torn out and lying on his omophorion, everything covered in blood (this was three years after his repose). They gathered up the torn off parts with a towel. When they lifted the towel up out of the coffin, everyone saw crimson blood dripping from it.
Schemanun Raphaela (Chernetskaya): Vladyka appeared to my mother in a dream after his death. She was very sick. She said: “I saw him coming in a car, the car stopped, he got out, blessed me, and said: ‘Treat yourself with herbs, with herbs.’” She did what he said, and she started getting better.
Archimandrite Gavrish (Vardaev): After they picked up the tiles covering the entrance to the vault, we went down into the lower room, where there was a lot of condensation on the arches and water dripping on the walls. The ground of the vault was damp. When we picked up the coffin, the bottom part started falling apart. We had to carefully put a rug under it and move the coffin with the body on it into the church. Vladyka’s remains were almost entirely incorrupt, but the bottom part of the relatively new coffin (they put Vladyka’s body in it thirteen years prior) was entirely rotted through.
Vera Dolgovaya: As I approached the coffin, I silently prayed to Vladyka and venerated him. At that moment, a sweet fragrance, gentle and strong, came from the coffin, and I clearly smelled it, like the freshness of spring.
Anatoly Androschuk (choir member at Holy Transfiguration Cathedral): I can’t walk without a cane, and by the end of the service, the pain in my joints is always much worse. Lately we’ve been serving litiyas at Archbishop Eumenius’ remains. I noticed that after the litiya, the pain in my joints is gone. On feast days, when we don’t serve the litiya, I feel the pain as usual; and when we serve the litiya, the pain immediately goes away.
Maria Gritsayuk: In July 2019, our baby Anastasia suddenly became very ill. Her treatments didn’t help. Despondent and weeping, I ran to the cathedral to Vladyka Eumenius’ coffin to entreat his help. When I got home, I couldn’t believe my eyes—Anastasia was already getting better, and within three hours, by 6:00 PM, she was completely fine, and she hasn’t gotten sick since.