Corfu, Greece, August 11, 2022
Every August, the Orthodox faithful gather in Corfu to celebrate the great St. Spyridon of Tremithus, one of the most beloved saints not only of the Church in Greece, but of the entire Orthodox Church.
“Today is a great day not only for Corfu but also for our Church in general, which celebrates the memory of the supernatural miracle of St. Spyridon, which took place in 1716, when Corfu was besieged by the Turks, and St. Spyridon saved the island,” writes the Orthodoxia News Agency.
The events in honor of St. Spyridon began last night with the participation of Metropolitans Panteleimon of Berea, Timotheos of Thessaliotis, Ieronymos of Kalavryta, and the local hierarch Nektarios of Corfu, and will continue for several more days.
The Hierarchical Great Vespers was celebrated at the Church of St. Spyridon last night, presided over by Met. Timotheos. In his short address, Met. Nektarios emphasized that in saving Corfu, St. Spyridon stopped the Turkish advance towards all of Europe.
“And today our homeland is threatened again by the same enemy and not only,” added His Eminence, who therefore called, “both the hierarchs and the people of God to again beg St. Spyridon to intercede before the Triune God for the integrity of our country.”
In his homily, Met. Timotheos spoke about the feast of the Transfiguration and the uncreated energies of God, which illuminated St. Spyridon during his lifetime, and after.
“We Orthodox Christians, having St. Spyridon as a patron in our lives, can anticipate and experience the spiritual goods with which he was endowed by the grace of the Triune God,” the Metropolitan preached.
At around 5:00 this morning, the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the Church of St. Spyridon. The traditional procession with the Holy Hierarch’s relics then began at 9:00 AM, with the participation of hierarchs, clergy, monastics, laity, the Philharmonic, local students and scouts and other associations, and local authorities.
In the prayer service during the moleben, Met. Nektarios again called on the people to implore St. Spyridon’s help to overcome all the struggles the Orthodox faithful face today, and to “awaken the consciences of all us modern Greeks.”
All services in honor of St. Spyridon through Saturday will be broadcast on the Metropolis of Corfu’s YouTube page.
There are four annual processions with the relics of St. Spyridon. The first is on Palm Sunday, in remembrance of when St. Spyridon saved Corfu from a plague in 1630; the second is on Holy Saturday morning, in remembrance of when he saved Corfu from famine in 1550; the third is on the first Sunday of November, in remembrance of when he saved Corfu from the plague in 1673; and the fourth is on August 11, in remembrance of when he saved Corfu from the Turks in 1716.
The 40-day confrontation with the Turkish army wore down the strength of the local inhabitants. Hoping for Divine intercession, the helpless people gathered in the Church of St. Spyridon and tearfully lifted up prayers to the saint. Suddenly, on the night of August 10 there erupted a terrible storm on the sea. Preparing themselves for the decisive battle, the island inhabitants learned of the great miracle that occurred in the night: eyewitnesses said that St. Sypridon, with an innumerable host of angels and a flaming sword, banished the multitudinous Turkish army from the island.