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The Saints of Corfu

Several Saints have chosen to honor Corfu and Paxos by living here. Frontier holders, , guardians of the extremities of the Eastern Orthodox faith, those Saints are today honored by the two major churches of the island .

  • Saint Spyridon , is the patron saint and protector of Corfu .
  • Saint Theodora the Byzantine Emperess.
  • Saint Gaios is the patron saint and protector of Paxos .

Moreover , several Saints and Holy relics are in Corfu and offer protection to the place and to its people .

Another Saint of the Holy Church of Russia left his trace in the history and conscience of thw Corfiot people, since, as an Admiral of the Russian fleet, he played an important part in the first independence of a Greek territory  (1800). Admiral Usakof .

A brief narration of thw life of Saint Spyridon and of his Holy Relics :

Agios Spiridon, click to enlarge Saint Spyridon lived in Cyprus in the 4th century. He took part in the 1st ’ Ecumenical Council in 325 AD , where he held a miraculous part . After his death, he was declared a Saint. His remains were taken to Constantinople about the end of the 7th century . After the fall of Constantinople by the Turks, his remains were taken originally to Arta and later on to Corfu , where they remained under the property of families (Kalochereti, Voulgari) until 1967.
Several miracles were reported during the time when the Saint was living . Additionally, many miracles have been reported about the period that his reliquary is in Corfu . The most important of these are celebrated to this day with processions and ceremonies.
Particularly: in 1553 the Saint saved the island of famine . The procession on Easter Saturday commemorates this event . In 1630 he relieved the island of the plague . The procession on the Orthodox Palm Sunday commemorates this event . In 1673 he intervened once more, saving again Corfu of plague . The procession on the first Sunday of November commemorates this miraculous intervention . Finally, in 1716 he relieved the island of the siege of the Turkish army . The procession on 11 August commemorates this event .

Brief history of Agia Theodora.

Agia Theodora, click to enlarge Agia Theodora was born in 815 AD, in Paflagonia of Asia Minor (Anatolia), in the ages of Iconoclasm .
In 830 AD, when she was only 15 years old, she got married to Emperor Theophilos, who died 12 years later( 842 ); Theodora thus became the Empress of the Byzantine Empire, as the guardian of her minor son, Michael. At this point, she approved of the minutes of the 7th Ecumenical Council of Nicaea ( 787 AD ), she replaced the Patriarch and restaured the icons, ending an long-lasting conflict. Upon the decision of the Holy Synod, on 11 February 842, first Sunday of the Lent Period before Easter, the clergy gathered at the church Agia Sophia in Constantinople and with Emperess Theodora at the head of the procedure, they performed the Procession of the Holy Icons . The Greek Orthodox Church honors and celebrates this event every year on the first Sunday of the Lent Period before Easter, which bears the name Sunday of Orthodoxy .
Saint Theodora died on 11 February 867 at the monastery where she lived upon order of her son, Michael. The Orthodox church has declared her a Saint.

Brief history of Saint Gaios.

Saint Gaios was one of the eighty wise men who had undertaken to translate the Holy Bible . According to tradition the Saint, on his way to Rome, got sick and stopped at the port of Paxos. Here, he died and he was buried with honor. On top of the Saint's tomb, a church was built to honor and commemorate him

Local celebrations - Processions:

1) Of the relique of Saint Spyridon

a) 12 December (memory) and

b) four times every year in commemoration of four miracles:

Agios Spiridon, click to enlarge . Palm Sunday

II. Easter Saturday

III. 11 August and

IV. First Sunday of November. In 1985, part of Saint Spyridons right arm was transferred from Rome to Corfu, which accompanies the whole body of the Saint at Processions.

 2) Of the Relique of Saint Theodora the Emperess:

a) 11 February, memorial of Saint Theodora the Emperess and

Agia Theodora, click to enlarge b) Sunday of Orthodoxy, Procession of the Relique of Saint Theodora.

3) 29 April, memorial of the Saint Apostles Jason and Sosipatros and of the Virgin Martyre Kerkyra.

4) 19 January, memorial of Saint Arsenios, Bishop of Corfu, and procession of the Relique of Saint Arsenios.

5) 10 February, memorial of Saint Charalambos patron saint of Paxos .

6) 29 June, procession of the Icon of Saint Apostle Gaios, at Gaios, Paxos.

7) On the 2nd Sunday of Matthew, 2 Sundays after Pentecost, is the memorial of Saint Apollodoros Bishop of Corfu. Saint Apollodoros is one of the 318 Holy Fathers that took part in the First Ecumenical Synod of Nicaea in 325 AD.

8) 17 May, memory of Saint Athanassios from Corfu, Bishop of Christianoupolis.

9) 10th November, memorial of Saint Arsenios from Kappadokia, who died in Corfu in 1924. His tomb is at the Municipal Cemetery of Corfu, at the suburb of Garitsa.

 

Reliques of Saints:

1) Of Saint Spyridon the Wonderworker ,

2) Of Saint Theorora the Emperess,

3) Of the Saint Apostles Jason , Sosipatros and the Virgin Martyr Kerkyra ,

4) of Saint Arsenios Bishop of Corfu,

5) Of Saint Arsenios from Kappadokia and other Saint Martyrs.

Local Saints:

1) Saint Apostles Jason and Sosipatros and Kerkyra,

2) Saint Arsenios Bishop of Corfu,

3) Saint Athanassios from Corfu, Bishop of Christianoupolis,

4) Saint Apostle Gaios at Paxos,

5) Seven Martyr Saints at Corfu,

6) Saint Apollodoros Bishop of Corfu and

7) Saint Arsenios from Kappadokia.

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