May 12

From the Prologue

Epiphanius was a Jew by birth and, witnessing the Faith of Christ, was baptized with his sister Callithrope. At age twenty-six, he was tonsured a monk in the monastery of St. Hilarion. Later, he established a separate monastery where he became famous throughout all of Palestine and Egypt because of his asceticism, spiritual wisdom and miracle-working. Fleeing from the glory of men, Epiphanius withdrew to Egypt. Enroute, he met up with the great Paphnutius who predicted that he would become bishop on the island of Cyprus. Indeed, after many years, by the Divine Providence of God, Epiphanius arrived at Cyprus where he, unexpectedly was chosen as bishop. At the age of sixty, he became the bishop of Salamis and, as such, governed the Church of God for fifty-five years. He lived a total of one-hundred fifteen years on this earth and rested from this life so as to live eternally in the kingdom of Christ. Before his death, he was summoned to Constantinople by Emperor Arcadius and his wife Eudoxia to an assembly of bishops which, according to the wish of the emperor and the empress, should have condemned St. John Chrysostom. Arriving in Constantinople, Epiphanius went directly to the palace of the emperor where the emperor and empress detained him for a long while trying to persuade him to declare himself against Chrysostom. The citizens and Chrysostom heard that Epiphanius agreed with the emperor against Chrysostom. That is why Chrysostom wrote him a letter: "Brother Epiphanius, I heard that you advised the emperor that I be exiled; know ye, that you will never see your throne again." To that Epiphanius replied to him: "O suffering John, withstand insults; know ye, that you will never reach the place to which you are exiled." And both prophecies of these saints were quickly fulfilled. Not wanting to agree in anyway with the emperor to the exile of Chrysostom, Epiphanius secretly boarded a boat and departed for Cyprus, but he died on the boat. The emperor banished Chrysostom into exile to Armenia. But, this saint died enroute. St. Epiphanius rested in the year 403 A.D. Among the many works of St. Epiphanius, the most famous is the Medicine Chest [Panarium] in which eighty heresies are listed and refuted.

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