St Nektarios of Aegina

St Nektarios of Aegina

St Nektarios of Aegina

ST NEKTARIOS was born on October 1, 1846, in Selymbria in Thrace to a poor family. Baptised Anastasios Cephalas, he took a teaching post until he became a monk at the age of thirty.

Three years later he was ordained a deacon, taking the name Nectarios. After graduating from the University of Athens in 1885 (and writing several books, pamphlets, and Bible commentaries) he went to Alexandria, Egypt, where he was ordained a priest and served the Church of Saint Nicholas in Cairo with great distinction, being consecrated Bishop/Metropolitan of Pentapolis (an ancient diocese in Cyrenaica, in what is now Libya) by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Sophronios in 1889.

He served as a bishop in Cairo for one year, but was then removed from his post following a smear campaign by jealous rivals, without being granted right of reply. Returning to Greece in 1891, he was subsequently appointed director of the Rizarios Ecclesiastical School for the education of priests in Athens, and in 1904, at the request of several nuns, he established Holy Trinity Convent on the island of Aegina.

In December of 1908, at the age of 62, St. Nektarios resigned from his post as school director and withdrew to the Holy Trinity Convent on Aegina, where he lived out the rest of his life as a monk. He wrote, published, preached, and heard confessions from those who came from near and far to seek out his spiritual guidance. While at the monastery, he also tended the gardens, carried stones, and helped with the construction of the monastery buildings that were built with his own funds. He was also the Metropolitan of the island of Aegina.

St Nektarios of Aegina

St. Nektarios died on the evening of November 9, 1920, at the age of 74. Many people regarded St. Nektarios as a saint during his lifetime because of his prayerful life, his humility, his purity and other virtues, and his writings, as well as the miracles he performed. St. Nektarios also had the gift of prescience.

The relics of St. Nektarios were removed from the grave on September 2, 1953, and gave out a beautiful fragrance. Official recognition of Nektarios as a saint by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople took place on April 20, 1961. Thousands of miracles have been attributed to his intercession, particularly cases of cancer or other serious illnesses being cured.

Adapted from OrthodoxWiki. St Nektarios was the author of the popular hymn, Agni Parthenos (Ἀγνή Παρθένος), sometimes known as O Virgin Pure.

St Nektarios is widely revered as a healer, and indeed was famous for his miracles even during his life. The story of the healing of Fr Nektarios Vitalis is truly inspiring – not least, if your Greek is up to it, because you can hear him retell it on YouTube (just follow the link for the videos).

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THE OFFSPIRING of Selyvria and the Guardian of Aegina. The true friend of virtue who didst appear in the last years. O Nektarios we faithful honour thee as a godly servant of Christ.

For thou pourest (forth) healings of every kind to those who piously cry out: Glory to Christ who hath glorified thee; Glory to Him who made thee wondrous: Glory to Him who worketh healing all through thee.

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Supplicatory Canon to St Nektarios

For the full Canon on Greek, see here. The translation below, which is what is being sung in the accompanying YouTube videos, is by Holy Transfiguration Monastery of Brookline, Mass..

The following Canon is an Acrostic, on “Father, deliver us from troublesome pains”.

Ode 1

AFLLICTED in body and soul, O Saint I run to thy shelter, seeking aid and crying to thee: Bestow thou thy peace on me, O Father, and do thou free both my spirit and flesh from harm.

O holy one of God, intercede for us.

As one that lived righteously in this life, O Godbearing Father, Saint Nectarios, do thou heal and sanctify all that hasten to thee And kiss thine icon and relics with reverence.

O holy one of God, intercede for us.

To them that seek healing of thee with faith, come hasten O Father, and deliver them from all pain; for thou art a merciful physician, O most revered wonderworker, Nectarios.

Most holy Theotokos, save us.

Since thou art the Birthgiver of our God, O most holy Maiden, show thy mercy to me, thy slave; and free me from harm and from the malice of the invisible serpent, I beg of thee.

Ode 3

O holy one of God, intercede for us.

From all manner of illness And from affliction of soul and from all satanic assaults deliver us, Saint of God; for thou art known to be a most compassionate shepherd who dost ever stand in guard over thy faithful flock.

O holy one of God, intercede for us.

Thou art truly a flowing spring of divine gifts for us. Gushing forth with spiritual nectar which doth dispel the grief and grievous bitterness of all our failings and passions, and doth grant the sweetness of grace, O beloved of God.

[Continues below…]

Ode 4

A FOUNTAIN of grace and miracles O righteous one, art thou shown to be by virtue of thy sanctity; thy relics are a constant well-spring of healing of every infirmity of both body and soul, O most hallowed Father Nektarios thou friend of God.

O holy Hierarch of God, intercede for us.

Do thou guard and preserve thy flock from the spiteful hate of the cruel enemy; by the grace of God bestowed on thee show thy mercy and thy loving care for us.

O holy one of God, intercede for us.

Thou dost heal all that run to thee seeking for thine aid and comfort in all distress; for, since thou art one compassionate thou dost ever hearken to our prayers to thee.

O holy one of God, intercede for us.

To the faithful that turn to thee and extol and bless thee, O Saint Nektarios, do thou grant unto them strength and help of both soul and body, O most blest of God.

Most holy Theotokos, save us.

Lead me forth, O all-blameless one from the path of evil and all iniquity; guide to the land of righteousness, granting me forgiveness and eternal life.

Ode 5

O holy one of God, intercede for us.

Aegina hath found thee to be a fervent guardian, and for this cause doth she flee unto thee, and is delivered from affliction and necessity.

Shelter us from harm and the malice of the enemy, since thou hast boldness with the Lord our God, and hast received the gift of grace, O Saint Nectarios.

O holy one of God, intercede for us.

Though thou hast reposed yet thou livest to eternity, and lo! thy body is a source of grace, thus clearly showing forth our Saviour’s victory over death.

Most holy Theotokos, save us.

Wholly undefiled and most chaste and free from every sin art thou in very truth, O all pure one; wherefore thy faithful seek thy prayers and intercessions, Maid.

Ode 6

O holy one of God, intercede for us.

Relieve thou the pain of both the soul and flesh by thy prayers, O Saint Nektarios, O father, for men that flee to thy mighty protection, and fill their heart with rejoicing, O blessed one; and do thou dissipate the gloom of their sorrow and grief, O thou friend of God.

O holy one of God, intercede for us.

Entreat thou the loving Saviour of our souls, to deliver us from every temptation, and from the snares of the man-hating devil, that we be cleansed of our every iniquity, for thou hast boldness with the Lord, O most blest one of God, Saint Nektarios.

Glory to the Father…

From on high thou keepest watchful vigilance and dost guard thy flock with loving compassions preserve us all in the Faith, O Godbearer, and thou save us from error and heresy, and by thy prayers, O righteous one, we may both grow in wisdom and godliness.