On November 9, the Church commemorates: the Holy Onisifor and Porphyry saints; Saint Hierarchus Nectary of Eghina; Cousin of Matron; The pious Theoctist; The coveted Simeon Metaphor Cuviosului Ioan Colov.
Saint Nectarie, named Athanasius, was born on October 1, 1846, in Silivria, a small town located in the Thracian province of northern Greece, on the seafront of Marmara. His parents were poor people, but very faithful.
On November 7, 1876, being called by Christ, he entered the monastic need in the famous Chinovie called "New Monastery" (Nea Moni). After a few months, on January 15, 1877, he was ordained deacon by the Metropolitan of Hios, Gregory, on which occasion he received the name Nectarie, which he would carry all his life.After completing his theological studies, in 1886, Father Nectarie was ordained a priest and after a few months he was promoted to the rank of archimandrite and sent to Cairo, as patriarchal counselor. On January 15, 1889, Patriarch Sofronie ordains him an honorary metropolitan of Pentapole, an old Orthodox diocese of Upper Libya. For many years the godly metropolitan served as responsible for the problems of patriarchy for the city of Cairo and preacher at the church of Saint Nicholas in the capital of Egypt, becoming a skillful minister and master of souls, being given by God with great patience, humility and gentleness. Therefore, he was much sought after by the faithful and loved by all.
“ Seeing the devil that he cannot overcome with pride and self-love, he tried to strike the happy hierarch Nectarie with another weapon, so dangerous, that is, with the envy of the other hierarchs and servants of the Patriarchate of Alexandria. ''. They spoke badly of him to the patriarch, as he wished to take his place. This caused that, on May 3, 1890, following an ordinance given by Patriarch Sofronie, he was released from the archdiocese where he was, allowing him to serve in the church of St. Nicholas. After less than two months, however, on June 11, 1890, Father Nectarie receives from the patriarch a letter asking him to leave Egypt. Asking forgiveness from all, though he had not sinned with anyone, proving a profound humility, the saint obeyed, giving glory to God, for with him was fulfilled the word of Jesus Christ, our Savior, who says: "Blessed are you when they will persecute you and persecute you, and say all the evil word against you, lying for My sake. " (Matthew 5:11). He retired to Athens in August 1890, poor, defamated by his own, and disregarded, having all hope only in God and in the prayers of the Virgin Mary.
In the secret of his heart, the happy hierarch Nectarius was a true Jesuit and a great worker of Jesus' prayer, which gave him much peace, joy, gentleness and patience. “ With these weapons he was constantly beating the devils, increasing spirituality to those around him, and always having peace and joy in Christ, ignoring the defamation and condemnation of those around him. ''
Wanting, at old age, to retire more peacefully, he built between 1904-1907, with the help of many believers and apprentices, a beautiful monastery of nuns, in the island of Eghina, near Athens, arranging here a perfect life after the tradition of the Holy Fathers. Then he definitively retires to this monastery and leads a high life of humility and service, of total dedication and unpowered prayer. Here he was also apprenticed to Saint Cuvios Sava cel Nou (1862–1948), a great ascetic of the twentieth century, who for a time was ordained in the desert of Hozeva, Palestine.
He received the gift of doing wonders
For his high life, God has conferred on the Blessed Nectarians the grace of the Holy Spirit. To this end, many sick and poor people went to the monastery church in Eghina and asked for his help. Especially after the First World War, many poor and sick people, without any help, came to him as their parents. And the Holy Nectarine gave the commandment to the nuns who were needed in its monastery to distribute to the destitute all kinds of food and to keep nothing for them, for God, through His mercy, nourished some and others, and the sick were fed. they healed with the prayers of the happy Nectarie, for he had been honored by the gift of miracles.
In addition to his many spiritual occupations, the Holy Nectarians wrote and wrote several theological writings on the morals and history of the Church, thus entering into the tradition of the Holy Fathers in his homeland, against the western influences that assaulted the Orthodox countries. St. Nectary was very humble and gentle and did not seek honor from anyone, and in his spare time worked in the monastery garden, dressed in a simple robe, so that everyone could use his silence and humility.
Living like an angel in the body and loving the ceaseless prayer, silence, humility, fasting and mercy, the Holy Nectarians drew many to Christ, pouring out around him, the peace, joy and uncreated light of the Holy Spirit, through which he comforted and rested all. who came to his cell. For this reason, the devil, not looking forward to his need, raised many slanders and evil words against the saint by many Greek clergy and hierarchs, who, because of envy, accused and accused both him and the monastery. his. But happy Nectaria endured all, in the name of Christ, Who dwelt in his heart.
Feeling his end near, as he went on a pilgrimage to the icon of the Virgin Mary on the island of Eghina, St. Nectarians disclosed to his disciples that he would soon be leaving for Christ. Then, getting sick, he was taken to a hospital in Athens. He patiently endured all illness and temptation, looking forward to the hour of his departure from this life.
After nearly two months of suffering, St. Nectarius gave his soul peacefully in the hands of Christ, on November 8, 1920. His disciples, after much mourning, buried him, after ordination, in the church built by him. , doing many miracles of healing with the sick, who faithfully ran to his aid. Many believers came from the most remote lands of Greece or from foreign countries to worship their grave or from Aegina, which had been shown to them and which would cure them of unmanageable diseases.
About Saint Nectaria as a miracle worker and healer, many believers had heard; this was due to the Church's decision to recognize and officially sanctify it, which was first recognized by many. Few were the ones who testified that approaching the monks of St. Nectary, they were cured of diseases or demons that had tormented them for years and which came under frightful cries under his power.
For more than twenty years, his body was in a complete and unbroken grave, spreading a lot of fragrance. On September 3, 1953, his holy remains were removed from the tomb and placed in the church of the monastery in Eghina, for honor and blessing. And in 1961, the Synod of the Church of Greece, seeing the many miracles that were performed at his relics, declared him a saint, with a feast day on November 9, thus becoming the most revered Saint in Greece. Part of the holy remains of St. Nectarie exists at the Radu Voda monastery, in Bucharest, where thousands of believers come, in this period, to worship and ask the saint to heal them.