Today we commemorate the Departure of Fr. Eustathius known as Abune Ewostatiewos!
When anointed as a deacon, Jesus Christ appeared and said unto him, “O my beloved Eustathius, I have chosen you from your mother’s womb, and appointed you to become a teacher of nations from Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Armenia to preach the Gospel without fear. Whoever listens to you means they listened to Me; he who rejects you rejects Me.” With this, he went on to become a bishop, teaching many disciples in the town of Asmara.
One day, he left his tooth-brushing stick. Later, he remembered it and sent a disciple to retrieve it, saying: “if it has started to grow, leave it (gidefo) if not bring it to me.” When the disciple returned, he was amazed when the stick had sprouted and started to grow. Because of this, the city where he left his stick that sprouted into a tree is called Godayf, meaning "we left it". A church by the name of Debre Medhanit Abune Ewostatiewos was built in his honor-in the city of Godayf.
As he was departing to Armenia on a cloth, since the men with boats refused him, he saw a poor child cutting wood praying, “Igzio Aytmeharene Kristos,”(Lord Don’t have mercy on Me). Abune Ewostatiewos heard this and corrected him, telling him that we say “Egzio Meharene Kristos,”(Have mercy on me). Fr.Eustathius then proceeded to sail away. At one point the child forgot the prayer and without noticing, he was runnin on the to ask Abune Ewostatiewos to show him the correct way, but Abune was astonished, and asked the child how he was walking on the sea. The child did not realized, and replied that he was just walking on land, unaware that he was actually on water. Fr. Eustathius shocked, tells the child to just remain faithful as he is, and to continue praying how he was, seeing the humbleness in the child.
This story shows us the importance of prayer, and building our relationship with God. Not only is it our way of speaking directly to our Lord, but it’s the sustenance of our lives. With His grace, what can go against us? What can outshine Him? Yet, how can we fill our hearts with His love if we don't give Him time? We must change our ways! We may not see it like this young child, but through prayer He settles our worries. He never gives us what we cannot handle, but it is up to us to embrace this gift of prayer we are blessed with!