Constantinople canonizes two 20th-century elders

Istanbul, November 17, 2023

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The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople resolved to canonize two 20th-century elders today.

In particular, the hierarchical body added Elder Gervasios (Paraskevopoulos; †June 30, 1964) and Elder Athanasios (Hamakiotis; †August 17, 1967) to the canon of the saints, reports the Mystagogy Resource Center.

Elder Athanasios was initially proposed for canonization by the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece in August 2019, and Elder Athanasios was proposed by the Greek Synod in August 2017.

“Hearts leaped, eyes shed tears, bells rang joyfully, on hearing the joyous message. Doxologies were uttered to the highest heavens, people with angels spiritually celebrate,” the Metropolis of Patras stated in its announcement of the canonization of St. Gervasios.

And announcing the canonization of St. Athanasios, the Metropolis of Kifisia writes: “Our Sacred Metropolis delights and rejoices in hearing the above Decision of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The celebration of his memory was set for the 17th of August of each year, the day of his venerable repose, and on the 23rd of October, the day of the translation of his sacred relics.”


Photo: Photo: St. Gervasios is one of the most prominent religious and cultural figures in the 20th-century history of Patras. He reposed in the Lord 55 years ago in 1964.

According to biographical information provided by the Basilica News Agency, the beloved pastor was born in the village of Nymphasia on January 1, 1877. Having strong faith from childhood, he entered the novitiate at the Holy Dormition-Kernitsa Monastery at the age of 13.

In 1897, he arrived at the Monastery of the Dormition-Girokomeio in Patras, where he remained until the end of his life. He was tonsured as a monk at the age of 26. In 1905, he graduated from the Rizarios Seminary, where he became a spiritual child of the great St. Nektarios of Aegina. He was ordained as a priest at the age of 33, and four years later he defended his doctoral thesis at the Faculty of Theology.

He served as a chaplain during the Balkan Wars in 1912-1913. After the Asia Minor catastrophe of 1922, Fr. Gervasios stood closely with the 7,000 refugees who settled in Patras.

His philanthropic activity, his gentle presence, and his self-sacrificial and untiring ministry made Elder Gervasios a true model of a cleric and Christian. He was instrumental in reviving the Orthodox life among young and old, especially through his catechetical schools.

He reposed in the Lord on June 30, 1964 at the age of 87. At his burial, the people zealously proclaimed him a saint, as they did again at the translation of his relics in 2014, which are now housed at the Church of St. Paraskevi at the Anaplastiki School in Patras, founded by Elder Gervasios.


Photo: Photo: St. Athanasios was born George Hamakiotis in 1891 in a mountain village in Kalavyrta. He became a monastic novice at the age of 15, and after finishing seminary 7 years later, he became a monk with the name Athanasios. He was ordained a deacon at the age of 25, and a priest at the age of 30 in 1921.

In 1931, he went to serve various churches in Athens. In 1936, he was appointed rector of the Panagia Neratziotissa Church in Maroussi, which became known throughout all of Attica thanks to Fr. Athanasios’ prolific work.

The elder is remembered for the beautiful way he served Liturgy and the charity and love he offered to all people.

For the last four years of his life, he lived in the small Panagia Faneromeni Monastery, which he built himself in Attica. He reposed on August 17, 1967, and was buried in the monastery. His cell, his personal belongings, and his relics remain there today.

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