August 27: Saint Fanourios the Great Martyr

Saint Fanourios is undoubtedly a holy, important youthful figure, who stands out in his own way among the other Saints of Christianity, because he is not only honored on a single date, but the faith of Christians often makes the famous fanouropita.

Saint Fanourios, who lived in Roman times, then clashed peacefully with the world of idolatry, because the Christian spirit of the godman did not allow him to deny his unquestionably virtuous principles. Thus, the 12 martyrdoms that the Saint suffered, are for us a strong motivation for endurance and adherence to the moral values ​​of Christianity, to emerge victorious from an unceasing struggle against the infidelity and injustice of our time. The Saint taught us with his real sacrifice, that of course we are not now fighting with Roman rulers and awful Agarines, but we have to face the most cleverly set traps of materialism and atheism, which are massively trying to sweep the ranks of Christians.

Saint Fanourios also taught us that the crown of virtuous life is not easily won, but only with constant trials, with courage, patience and endurance. Therefore, as true fighters of the faith, let us imitate the exemplary and impeccable life of the Saint, so that one day we too may be honored to honor the Christian name we bear, just as he deservedly honored it.

Agios Fanourios

  1. Generally about his life

There is nothing specific about the origin and life of Agios Fanourios, because all the elements of his life were lost in times of anomaly.

The only information we have about the Saint is the finding of his icon, around 1500 AD, according to the synaxaries, or according to others around 1355-1369 AD. Others claim that the icon of the Saint was found in Rhodes and others in Cyprus.

  1. Finding the image

We go back to the past, when the Agarines ruled Rhodes and decided to rebuild the city walls, which they barbarically destroyed and demolished in the war a few years ago.

So they began to send workers out of the southern part of the fortress and to collect stones from the half-ruined houses of the inhabitants, in order to rebuild the new and strong walls of their city. Suddenly in the ruins they found a beautiful, but half-ruined church on one side and in there they found a pile of icons, which from time immemorial did not distinguish the figures of the Saints as well as the letters they had on them.

Only one amazing image stood out from all, which time did not touch and represented a young man dressed as a soldier. The Metropolitan of Rhodes Nilos immediately ran on the spot and clearly read the name of the Saint, whose name was Fanourios. His Eminence, moved by the revelation of the Saint, noticed that he was dressed like a Roman soldier, holding a cross in his left hand and a lighted candle in his right. The hagiographer still painted around the image in twelve representations the martyrdoms, which the Saint suffered and which, obviously narrate his whole life.

These performances are as follows:

1. The saint appears standing in front of his Roman interrogator and seems to be apologizing with courage and defending his Christian faith.

2. The soldiers here intervene and hit Fanourios with stones on the head and in the mouth, in order to force him to bow down and deny the Lord.

3. The soldiers are now enraged by Fanouri’s insistence, so they threw him down and now beat him savagely with sticks and bats, to lower his prosperous morale.

4. Fanourios is in prison and there he is tortured in an abominable way. He looks completely naked and the soldiers around him tear his flesh with sharp iron tools. The Saint endures untouched his terrible martyrdom.

5. Fanourios is back in prison and prays to God to help him endure the torture to the end.

6. The Saint appears again before the Roman investigator to apologize for his attitude. From the restless expression on his face it seems that neither the tortures he suffered, nor the future threats of the tyrant shook his faith and so he fearlessly awaits even worse martyrdoms.

7. The executioners of Fanouri with fury and cruelty burn with naked candles his naked body, which thus shows his insurmountable sacrifice for the Crucified. The Saint wins again with his indomitable will and courage in the Lord.

8. Here his savage torturers also use mechanical means to reach the peak of his martyrdom. They have tied the Saint to a mango and this, as it rotates, breaks his bones. He suffers untouched but on his beautiful face is painted expressionless joy, because he suffers for the sake of the Lord.

9. Fanourios is thrown into a pit, to be north of wild beasts and his executioners from above are watching to see his end. But the beasts have literally been domesticated by the grace of God, so they surround him quietly like lambs and enjoy his company wonderfully.

10. His executioners are not satisfied with the previous result and so they take him out of the pit and crush him with a big stone, sure now that they will finish him. But they are not succeeding this time either.

11. The scene shows the Saint in front of an altar, where his executioners urge him to sacrifice, putting burning coals in his palms. Fanourios comes out of this test victorious and this is distinguished by a devil, who has the form of a dragon, who flies in the air and cries for his failure.

12. The last scene is the end of his martyrdom, with Fanourios thrown on a large stove standing on a stool and surrounded by flames and smoke. The Saint seems to pray unceasingly to God, without expressing any grievance or groaning and so, rigid and unyielding, he flew to heaven, full of satisfaction for all the sufferings he suffered for the sake of the Lord.

  1. Elements from finding the image

Seeing the icon of Agios Fanourios found in Rhodes, we extract many remarkable facts which are the following:

1. If we read the name of the Saint in the picture, we immediately conclude that it is of Greek origin.

2. We also conclude that his parents were very pious, to give him such a Christian name.

3. This young man would still be highly educated to become a military man.

4. We also estimate that the martyrdoms of Agios Fanourios took place in the second and third centuries, when the persecutions of the Christians were at their peak.

5. Fanourios clearly proves that he was a Great Martyr from the many and terrible martyrdoms he suffered.

6. We also make sure that he was honored by the faithful Christians from the years of his martyrdom in Christian temples, in order to find such a temple in Rhodes as well.

7. From the depiction of the Saint it seems that Fanourios martyred young people age.

  1. Miracles of the Saint

Saint Fanourios performed several miracles to the faithful who invoke his name and one of them is the following:

At a time in its historical life, Crete was enslaved by the Latins (1204 – 1669 AD), who had their own Archbishop and therefore tried in every way to lure the inhabitants of the island to Catholicism (Papism).

Thus the Latins took as an oppressive measure against Orthodoxy not to allow ordination of priests in Crete, so the Cretans were forced to go to the island of Tsirigos (Kythira) to be ordained priests by an Orthodox High Priest, who resided there.

At some point, three deacons started from Crete for Tsirigos and after being ordained priests there, they returned unhappy to their long-suffering island from slavery. Unfortunately, Agarian pirates captured them at sea, transported them to Rhodes, where they sold them to three different Agarian masters.

The position of the three priests was deplorable and yet a sweet anticipation came to sweeten their bitter complaint. He learned that in Rhodes Agios Fanourios performed miracles and in him they based their hopes and they always prayed and invoked each one of them individually, to save them from the cruel captivity of the meager Agarines.

So he asked each priest, without consulting each other, from his master, to give him permission to go to church to worship the icon of St. Fanourios. All three of them easily took leave, reverently worshiped the image of the Saint, wetting the earth with their tears, kneeling as if praying and with all the power of their souls begging Saint Fanourios to intercede to save them from the hands of the Agarines.

After the priests left, relieved of their pain, Saint Fanourios appeared at night to all three of their masters and ordered them to free their slave priests, otherwise he would punish them severely. However, the Agarin rulers considered the intervention of the Saint as a kind of magic, so they chained their slaves and began to torture them in a worse way.

The next night, however, Agios Fanourios intervened more effectively, freed the three priests from their shackles and promised them that he would free them from the Agarines the next day. He appeared again to the Agarines and threatened them this time, that if they did not release the priests in the morning, he would treat them harshly.

The next morning the Agarines felt the punishment, because they all lost their light and their bodies became paralyzed. So they were then forced to consult their relatives to discuss the evil that befell them. All the lords decided to call the three priests, maybe they could help them. The only answer the priests gave was that they would pray to their God and He would decide.

On the third night, Saint Fanourios appeared again to the Agarines and announced to them that if the three lords did not send in writing to his temple their consent for the release of the priests, they would not regain their health. The Agarins then, willingly or unwillingly, wrote the letter requested by Agios Fanourios and unequivocally declared that they were granting their freedom to the three priests. These statements were submitted to the holy temple of the Saint.

Even before the delegation of the Agarines returned from the temple, the blind and paralyzed unbelievers were completely healed by the will of the Saint. The rich Agarnes gave to the three priests all the expenses of their trip and before they left they took refuge in the church, and after thanking the Saint for their release, they faithfully copied the icon of Agios Fanourios and took it to Crete, where they honored it every year with eulogies and liturgies.

  1. The pie of Agios Fanourios

The great honor that Christians have in Agios Fanourios, became the reason for the creation of the traditional custom of the Saint’s pie or better of the fanouropita.

The pie is usually small and round and is made from pure flour, sugar, cinnamon, oil and after all these ingredients are mixed, kneaded, put in a round form and the pie is baked at a moderate temperature in the oven.

The pie is made to reveal to a Saint a lost object, a job if one is inactive, a lost cause, the health of a sick person and the like.

Our Church celebrates his memory on August 27.

https://www.impantokratoros.gr/A6774D6F.el.aspx?cf_chl_jschl_tk=pmd__fs2jNIy1DxNAC3j0EJ41QUxjQ_w06ZO4OKdhZ81Frg-1630045512-0-gqNtZGzNAiWjcnBszQhl



Kefalonia (Greece): The snakes of the Holy Mary came out (miracle)

As every year, so this year, on the day of the feast of the Savior, the snakes of the Holy Mary appear in Kefalonia.

Specifically, in the church of the Assumption in Markopoulo few days ago the first two snakes appeared (last year only one had appeared).

Immediately the village bells rang joyfully.

The story with the snakes and the miraculous image…

According to tradition in southern Kefalonia, in the village of Markopoulo many years ago the inhabitants saw a tree burning and the flames reaching very high. They ran to put out the fire so that the forest and the village would not burn. When they arrived, the villagers saw the tree completely burned and on its burned root was a very beautiful image of the Holy Mary, which was untouched by the fire.

The inhabitants took the image in their hands, worshiped it and took it down to the village and placed it in the church of their village, which was in the square. The next morning the others went to the church to worship the icon of the Holy Mary. But the image was missing and was nowhere to be found.

Someone went to the mountain and found the picture on the burned tree, took it down to the village and asked who took it there.

So the residents decided to lock the church. But three times the image was missing and they found it again in the burned tree.

Then the villagers believed that the Holy Mary’s wish is to be there and that is why they built a church and placed the Holy Mary there.

After a while, a nunnery was built. One day, however, they saw pirate ships approaching and pirates approaching the monastery in order to plunder it.

Image from: https://www.ekklisiaonline.gr/nea/dekapentavgoustos-2020-ta-fidakia-tis-panagias-ta-ntolia-ke-ta-ethima-sti-megali-giorti/

Then the nuns got scared and asked for the protection of the Holy Mary.

They asked the Holy Mary to bring them birds or snakes, to leave, to fly, to remain immaculate from the pirates who had bad moods and oh miraculously their prayer was heard and the Holy Mary turned them into snakes.

And since then and every August 15th something strange and wonderful happens.

From the feast of the Transfiguration, snakes appear inside and outside the temple. They are the so-called “snakes of the Holy Mary”.

Experts who have examined them can not include them in any genre and consider them unique.

They are white-gray with sparkling eyes and a small cross is formed on their head.

These are the snakes of the Holy Mary, a unique and unrepeatable miracle that only with the heart one can understand and not with the mind.

Link: https://www.romfea.gr/diafora/16244-kefalonia-bgikan-ta-fidakia-tis-panagias

Author (s): info-scanner

Great celebration for Orthodoxy – The memory of Saints Constantine and Helen is honored today, Friday 21 May.

Saint Constantine and Saint Helen: Who are the Apostles who celebrate today

Saint Constantine

This is the Roman Emperor, during whose days secularism was established and the Christian faith was promoted, which until then had been persecuted.

At the time when his father Constantius was serving in the Palace, Constantine was in the court of the emperor Diocletian in Nicomedia, holding the office of Chiliarch. But when the two Augustians, Diocletian and Maximian, resign from their positions, Constantius for the West and Galerius for the East are promoted to the position of Augustus.

When Constantius (306) died, the western army recognized Constantine as Augustus.

Constantine, therefore, was proclaimed in August after his victory against Maxentius.

The historian Eusebius states that Constantine did not know exactly to whom God to pray to face Maxentius. When, however, he began to return prayers, in the afternoon a sign appeared in the sky, the Cross with the famous inscription “in spite of victory”.

Thus, having the certainty of divine support, he attacks Maxentius, whom he defeats.

After these events and since he is now the only ruler of the Empire, Constantine will make a decision that was to change the course of mankind: he moves the capital of the Empire from Rome to a fishing village on the Bosphorus and builds Constantinople on the old Byzantium .

A notable event, among others, is the signing of the edict of Milan in 313, which provided for the cessation of persecution and the release of the faithful. The decree was signed on the occasion of Likinios’ marriage to his sister Konstantias.

With the predominance of Christianity begin the first disputes in the body of the Church. The first bomb that will shake its foundations is Arius who will support the one and only nature of Jesus Christ.

Constantine, realizing the problem caused by the heresies in the cohesion of the Empire, convened the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in Bithynia in 325, which ruled that Arius taught heretical views.

After the end of the work of the Synod, Constantine himself undertook the notification of the relevant decisions to the whole territory of the Empire.

Arios, however, and his contemporaries deceived Constantine by practicing their philological and philosophical art and convinced Constantine that their teaching did not depart from the doctrine of the Ecumenical Council.

The result of this intervention of Areios was the convening of a new synod in 327 AD, which recalled Areios from exile and restored his like-minded Bishops Nicomedia Eusebius and Nicaea Theognio. This action provoked reactions from the Orthodox, so both Alexandria of Alexandria and Athanasius the Great did not compromise with the decisions of the Synod, even though the Emperor threatened to overthrow him.

Subsequently, a new Synod of Heretical Bishops, convened in Antioch in 330, deposed and exiled Saint Eustathius, Bishop of Antioch, and then in 335, another Synod, held in Tire, Syria, sentenced Athanasius the Great to death. who, therefore, asked Constantine to listen to him, but the Emperor, at first, did not accept the proposal of Athanasius, until this great theologian said to him: “Judge Lord ἀνὰ μέσον ἐμοῦ καὶ σοῦ”.

After the hearing, and after Constantine invited all those who participated in the Council of Tire, Eusebius of Nicomedia appeared, with another argument before the Emperor, this time, raising the issue of the alleged obstruction of the transportation of wheat. The Emperor finally exiled Athanasius the Great to Trevira, France, but did not ratify the decision of that Synod and at the same time did not proceed to the replacement of the episcopal see of Alexandria. The issue of Arios was solved at that time by the Providence of God, since on the eve of the solemn recognition of Arios, he died in a horrible way while he was in the toilet.

Despite the fact that he had worshiped the god Helios all his life, shortly before his death he decided to be baptized a Christian. During the sacrament he also said the famous phrase: “Now it is true because of the bliss of us, now it is worthy of immortal life, now the divine light is received, I believed”. From then until the day of his sleep in 337 in the suburb of Nicomedia no royal cloak was worn. His death occurred nine years after his mother died at the age of 63 and took place on the day of Pentecost, according to historian Eusebius.

Saint Helen

Saint Helen was the mother of Constantine the Great. He was born in Drepano of Bithynia (Gialova, Central Asia) in the middle of the 3rd century AD. About twenty years after her birth, Eleni met Constantius Chloros, an official of the Empire, whom she married in 270, under a special law, which allowed officials to marry women of popular descent. Constantius was a relative of Claudius, who reigned before Diocletian and was hired by Diocletian. The fruit of the marriage of Helen and Constantius was Constantine, the later monarch of the Roman Empire, whom Saint Helen gave birth to in Naissos of Moisia (Nissa, Serbia).

However, in order for Constantius to be promoted by Diocletian to Caesar of Galatia, Spain and Britain, he divorced Saint Helen and married the niece of Maximian Theodora. At that time, Saint Helen and Constantine remained under the protection of Diocletian and then Galerius, so that they could control Constantius. However, Constantius assumed the office of Caesar’s office worked well for the Church, since even during the period of persecution unleashed by Diocletian, the faithful in this area were not persecuted. Also, with the rise of Chloros to this position, the way was opened for his son Konstantinos.

Saint Helen returned to public life when Constantine was promoted to Caesar in 306, when Constantine brought her to Trevira and then took her with him to Rome, when he was to be proclaimed in August. The Saint was proclaimed in Augusta by Constantine, when he remained emperor defeating Licinius, while in the process she acted as his advisor and collaborator. This love and respect of Constantine to his mother was shown by the erection of two columns in the large square “Foros”, one in the name of St. Helen and the other in his name, and between them a cross, which bore the inscription : “To the Saint, to the Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father, Amen”. Also, in order to honor her, she minted coins with her name and form and renamed Drepano to Elenopolis.

Among other things, he gave his mother the palace in Cesorio of Lateranos, where he built a church, so that she could perform charitable and spiritual work. Subsequently, St. Helen, with the consent of Constantine, took responsibility for the reconstruction of temples and the construction of new churches and auspicious institutions throughout the territory of the Empire. The historian Eusebius states in this regard: “Eleni Augusta … founded pious presumptions of disposition”.

But apart from the life and work of Saint Helen at the side of her son, the most important event that sealed her was her transition to the Holy Land. There, according to Tradition, following a divine sign, he found the Holy and Animal Cross of the Lord in 326 AD. When he arrived in Jerusalem, then, at the suggestion of Saint Kyriakos, who was a Jew and then called Judas, but also based on a tradition that said that after the Apostasy the Holy Cross was thrown into a pit near Golgotha, he immediately began the relevant investigations .

But because it was a tremendous amount of work, the research turned to the part where the basil flower bloomed, whose fragrance was intense. The chronographer George the monk notes the fact of the discovery as follows: “And the Bishop (Makarios) learned the things of the Royal Coming … he always asked for peace and made a more important wish in favor of it, to God he offered … God showed the Bishop the place where the unclean demon, the temple and the statue of Aphrodite existed. Then the queen, a large number of craftsmen and workers gathered and from the bottom destroyed the infamous building. As a result, the divine Memory, the place of the skull and three registered crosses were revealed … Embarrassment and sadness seized the Queen, since no one knew who the Holy Cross was.

And the Bishop answered the question by faith … A sick woman, desperate in all respects and the wind blowing, they brought between the crosses … With the shadow of the Holy Cross the patient … jumped straight, glorifying God with a loud voice. ..And Queen Eleni, with great joy received the Cross … and handed over part of it to the Bishop of the city “(George Monk, On the Finding of the Cross, 110.620-621).

Also, St. John Chrysostom mentions that three crosses were found on Golgotha, one of which was diagnosed as belonging to Jesus Christ. The Synaxari of the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross states: “And when the Queen (ie Saint Helen) passed away, the miracle of the Lord Stavros is shown to the dying widow; two crosses of the Robbers, zero indicated in this miraculous model “.

After the point Saint Helen decided to build the Church of the Resurrection on the spot, another temple above the Cave of the Nativity in Bethlehem and two others, one on the Ascension Mountain and one on Mount Tabor.

Then, Saint Helen left for Constantinople, carrying with her pieces of the Sacred Wood. On her way she passed for the second time from Cyprus. So he landed south of the island near today’s Libra. The area where he landed was a river, then called the royal river, near which he deposited the crosses – traditionally, because the three crosses had remained together for many years, he disconnected them, mixed their wood and rebuilt them. From the wood of the foot of the cross of Christ he also made another small cross.

There, exhausted as she was, the eighty-year-old Saint leaned down to rest for a while, so that she could continue her journey to Constantinople. According to Tradition, during her sleep, a young man in angelic form said to her: “My dear queen, I am an envoy of God Almighty, to express His will to you. Just as you built temples there in Jerusalem, so that God may be glorified and praised, so here, on this blessed island, you should do the same. To build a holy temple here, which in fact to be founded with the Holy Wood, so that the Cross of the Lord can be worshiped and glorified for centuries by the inhabitants of this place. “Christians will live here until the end of the world.”

When the Saint woke up, she immediately ordered it to be done as that brilliant young man had indicated to her. However, one of the big crosses had disappeared and was seen on the top of Mount Olympus. There, then, was found the Sacred Wood, which had been lost for a moment. Then, Agia Eleni and her associates built a church which they inaugurated with the Holy Wood and since then (327) this mountain is called Stavrovouni, where until today there is the homonymous Holy Monastery.

Then the Saint left for the Queen, where Constantine welcomed the Holy Cross, the four Nails (= nails) and his mother with all splendor. We note that of these four Ilos, two were placed in the Crown, which was worn by King Constantine.

Agia Eleni was buried a year later, at the age of about 81 years (328-329) while today, most of the Holy Wood is kept in the Holy Monastery of Xiropotamos on Mount Athos.

https://www.newsbomb.gr/ellada/ekklhsia/story/1197935/megali-giorti-agios-konstantinos-kai-agia-eleni-poioi-einai-oi-isapostoloi-poy-eortazoyn-simera