Our Patron Saint - Saint Spyridon of Trimythous
The saints of the church, who are alive in Christ, are not only models whose lives and devotion to God we should strive to emulate, but also are intercessors to God. Individual faithful and parish communities are called upon to take a patron saint, in the tradition of the Holy Orthodox Church. Early churches were built at the site of the graves of many of the Holy Martyrs. These communities were dedicated with the name of the martyr, and he or she was called upon by the community who worshiped there to act as an intercessor and protector for the faithful. Churches today place relics of the saints inside the Altar table as well as in places for veneration in the church in remembrance of these holy men and women in our lives.
Spyridon, the God-bearing Father of the Church, the great defender of Corfu and the boast of all the Orthodox, had Cyprus as his homeland. He was simple in manner and humble of heart, and was a shepherd of sheep. When he was joined to a wife, he begat of her a daughter whom they named Irene. After his wife's departure from this life, he was appointed Bishop of Trimythus, and thus he became also a shepherd of rational sheep. When the First Ecumenical Council was assembled in Nicaea, he also was present, and by means of his most simple words stopped the mouths of the Arians who were wise in their own conceit. By the divine grace which dwelt in him, he wrought such great wonders that he received the surname 'Wonderworker." So it is that, having tended his flock piously and in a manner pleasing to God, he reposed in the Lord about the year 350, leaving to his country his sacred relics as a consolation and source of healing for the faithful.
About the middle of the seventh century, because of the incursions made by the barbarians at that time, his sacred relics were taken to Constantinople, where they remained, being honoured by the emperors themselves. But before the fall of Constantinople, which took place on May 29, 1453, a certain priest named George Kalokhairetes, the parish priest of the church where the Saint's sacred relics, as well as those of Saint Theodora the Empress, were kept, took them away on account of the impending peril. Travelling by way of Serbia, he came as far as Arta in Epirus, a region in Western Greece opposite to the isle of Corfu. From there, while the misfortunes of the Christian people were increasing with every day, he passed over to Corfu about the year 1460. The relics of Saint Theodora were given to the people of Corfu; but those of Saint Spyridon remain to this day, according to the rights of inheritance, the most precious treasure of the priest's own descendants, and they continue to be a staff for the faithful in Orthodoxy, and a supernatural wonder for those that behold him; for even after the passage of 1,500 years, they have remained incorrupt, and even the flexibility of his flesh has been preserved. Truly wondrous is God in His Saints! (Ps. 67:3 5)
Ἀπολυτίκιον. Ἦχος α’. Τοῦ λίθου σφραγισθέντος.
Τῆς Συνόδου τῆς πρώτης ἀνεδείχθης ὑπέρμαχος, καὶ θαυματουργὸς θεοφόρε, Σπυρίδων Πατὴρ ἡμῶν· διὸ νεκρᾷ σὺ ἐν τάφῳ προσφωνεῖς, καὶ ὄφιν εἰς χρυσοῦν μετέβαλες· καὶ ἐν τῷ μέλπειν τὰς ἁγίας σου εὐχάς, Ἀγγέλους ἔσχες συλλειτουργοῦντάς σοι Ἱερώτατε· Δόξα τῷ σὲ δοξάσαντι, δόξα τῷ σὲ στεφανώσαντι· δόξα τῷ ἐνεργοῦντι διὰ σοῦ πᾶσιν ἰάματα.
Dismissal Hymn. First Tone. When the stone was sealed.
O Father, God-bearer, Spyridon, you were proven a champion and Wonder Worker of the First Ecumenical Council. You spoke to the girl in the grave and turned the serpent to gold. And, when chanting your prayers, most sacred One, angels ministered with you. Glory to Him who glorified you; glory to Him who crowned you; glory to Him who, through you, works healing for all
Κοντάκιον. Ἦχος β'. Τὰ ἄνω ζητῶν.
Τῷ πόθῳ Χριστοῦ τρωθεὶς Ἱερώτατε, τὸν νοῦν πτερωθείς, τῇ αἴγλῃ τοῦ Πνεύματος, πρακτικῇ θεωρίᾳ, τὴν πρᾶξιν εὗρες θεόληπτε, θυσιαστήριον θεῖον γενόμενος, αἰτούμενος πᾶσι θείαν ἔλλαμψιν.
Kontakion. Second Tone. Thou soughtest the heights.
Wounded by your love for Christ, O holy One, your mind given wings by the radiance of the Spirit, you put the practice of theory into deeds, becoming a sacred altar, O Chosen by God, and praying for the divine illumination of all.
The Life of Saint Spyridon from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website: https://www.goarch.org/chapel/saints?contentid=332
The Life of Saint Spyridon from the OCA website: https://www.oca.org/saints/lives/2007/12/12/103526-saint-spyridon-the-wonderworker-bishop-of-tremithus
Μηναίο Ἁγίου Σπυρίδωνος: https://glt.goarch.org/texts/Dec/Dec12.html
Παράκληση Ἁγίου Σπυρίδωνος: https://www.proseyxi.com/paraklisi-eis-ton-agio-spiridona