Agios Nektarios

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Agios Nektarios

Postby Palaeologus » November 9th, 2008, 3:53 pm


Today the Orthodox Church remembers the repose of the beautiful soul of Saint Nektarios of Aegina (my avatar, and the gentle patron of my own journey back to my Father's house). The Catholic liturgical scholar Fr Romano Guardini once observed "Until you have suffered from the Church, you have not yet suffered with Christ"; Guardini could certainly have had Agios Nektarios in mind.

Reading from the Synaxarion:

Saint Nectarius was born in Selyvria of Thrace on October 1, 1846.
After putting himself through school in Constantinople with much hard
labour, he became a monk on Chios in 1876, receiving the monastic name of
Lazarus; because of his virtue, a year later he was ordained deacon,
receiving the new name of Nectarius. Under the patronage of Patriarch
Sophronius of Alexandria, Nectarius went to Athens to study in 1882;
completing his theological studies in 1885, he went to Alexandria, where
Patriarch Sophronius ordained him priest on March 23, 1886 in the Cathedral
of Saint Sabbas, and in August of the same year, in the Church of
Saint Nicholas in Cairo, made him Archimandrite. Archimandrite
Nectarius showed much zeal both for preaching the word of God, and for the
beauty of God's house. He greatly beautified the Church of Saint
Nicholas in Cairo, and years later, when Nectarius was in Athens, Saint
Nicholas appeared to him in a dream, embracing him and telling him he was
going to exalt him very high.

On January 15, 1889, in the same Church of Saint Nicholas, Nectarius
was consecrated Metropolitan of the Pentapolis in eastern Libya,
which was under the jurisdiction of Alexandria. Although Nectarius'
swift ascent through the degrees of ecclesiastical office did not
affect his modesty and childlike innocence, it aroused the envy of
lesser men, who convinced the elderly Sophronius that Nectarius had it
in his heart to become Patriarch. Since the people loved Nectarius,
the Patriarch was troubled by the slanders. On May 3, 1890,
Sophronius relieved Metropolitan Nectarius of his duties; in July of the
same year, he commanded Nectarius to leave Egypt.

Without seeking to avenge or even to defend himself, the innocent
Metropolitan left for Athens, where he found that accusations of immorality
had arrived before him. Because his good name had been soiled, he was
unable to find a position worthy of a bishop, and in February of 1891
accepted the position of provincial preacher in Euboia; then, in 1894, he
was appointed dean of the Rizarios Ecclesiastical School in Athens.
Through his eloquent sermons his unwearying labours to educate fitting
men for the priesthood, his generous alms deeds despite his own
poverty, and the holiness, meekness, and fatherly love that were manifest
in him, he became a shining light and a spiritual guide to many. At
the request of certain pious women, in 1904 he began the building of
his convent of the Holy Trinity on the island of Aegina while yet
dean of the Rizarios School; finding later that his presence there was
needed, he took up his residence on Aegina in 1908, where he spent the
last years of his life, devoting himself to the direction of his
convent and to very intense prayer; he was sometimes seen lifted above
the ground while rapt in prayer. He became the protector of all
Aegina, through his prayers delivering the island from drought, healing
the sick, and casting out demons. Here also he endured wicked
slanders with singular patience, forgiving his false accusers and not
seeking to avenge himself. Although he had already worked wonders in
life, an innumerable multitude of miracles have been wrought after his
repose in 1920 through his holy relics, which for many years remained
incorrupt. There is hardly a malady that has not been cured through his
prayers; but Saint Nectarius is especially renowned for his healings of
cancer for sufferers in all parts of the world.

Apolytikion in the First Tone:

O faithful, let us honour Nectarios, holy servant of Christ,
offspring of Selyvria and guardian of Aegina, who in these latter years was
manifested as the true friend of virtue. All manner of healing wells forth
for those who in piety cry out, "Glory to Christ who glorified you;
glory to Him who, through you, wrought wonders; glory to Him who,
through you, works healing for all."

Translations courtesy of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America


Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God have mercy on us, and save us. Amen.
Concepts create idols; only wonder grasps anything.
- St Gregory of Nyssa
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Re: Agios Nektarios

Postby Episkopos » November 9th, 2008, 9:20 pm

We used to have one but the wheel fell off
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Agios Nektarios

Postby Theophilus » November 10th, 2008, 1:48 pm

Just something extra regarding the hagiography of St. Nektarios:

On September 20, 1920 one of the nuns took him to the local hospital, in spite of his protest. He was convulsing in pain from a long-standing ailment. He was admitted, and placed into a ward reserved for the poor and unwanted. There he stayed for two months among the sick and dying. At 10:30 in the evening of November 8th, although in the midst of terrible pains, in peace and at prayer he gave up his spirit unto God at the age of 74.

As soon as the Saint gave up his Spirit, a nurse came to prepare him for transfer to Aegina for burial. As the nurse removed the Saints sweater, she inadvertently placed it on the next bed, on which a paralytic lay. And O, strange wonder!, the paralytic immediately began to regain his strength and arose from his bed healthy, and glorifying God.

Some time after his repose, strangely a beautiful fragrance was emitted by his Holy body, filling the room. Many came to venerate his Holy relics prior to his burial. With amazement, people noted a fragrant fluid that drenched his hair and beard. Even after 5 months, when the nuns of the convent opened the Saints grave to build a marble tomb, they found the Saint intact in every respect and emitted a wonderful and heavenly fragrance. Similarly three years later, the Holy Relics were still whole and radiating the same heavenly fragrance.

The Orthodox Church proclaimed him as a Saint on April 20, 1961.
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Re: Agios Nektarios

Postby Theophilus » November 8th, 2010, 10:37 pm

A photograph of St. Nektarios serving at what is believed to be his last Divine Liturgy

A man, with his mind in heaven, were you, in the world still living, O Nektarios, Hierarch of Christ. You led a devout and holy life, and in everything you were truly impeccable, righteous, and inspired by God. And henceforth you hear us saying:

    Rejoice, through whom the faithful are exalted
    Rejoice, through whom the foes are astounded.
    Rejoice, for of the holy fathers you were emulous; for you are the teacher of the Orthodox.
    Rejoice, most holy house of the energy of God;
    Rejoice, God-written book of the new way of life.
    Rejoice, modern-day peer of the Saints and Fathers;
    Rejoice, for you wisely kept your distance from matter.
    Rejoice, the radiant trophy of the Faith;
    Rejoice, the dignified instrument of grace.
    Rejoice, through whom is the Church celebrating;
    Rejoice through whom the Isle of Aegina is rejoicing.
    Rejoice, Father Nektarios!
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