My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.
THE HOLY FEAST-DAY OF SAINT NEKTARIOS, METROPOLITAN OF PENTAPOLIS THE WONDERWORKER (THAVMATOURGOS)
"Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God, consider the outcome of their lives and imitate their faith" (Hebrews 13:7)
One of the most beloved Saints of our Holy Orthodox Christian Church is Saint Nektarios. Saint Nektarios was born on October 1, 1846, in Selymbria in Thrace to a poor family. His given name was Anastasios Cephalas. At the age of 14 he moved to Constantinople to work and further his education. In 1866 he left to the island of Chios to take a teaching post. He then became a monk at the age of thirty.
Three years after becoming a monk he was ordained a deacon, taking the name Nektarios. He graduated from the University of Athens in 1855. During his years as a student of the University of Athens he wrote many books, pamphlets, and Bible commentaries.
Following his graduation he went to Alexandria, Egypt, where he was ordained a priest and served the church of Saint Nicholas in Cairo with great distinction. In recognition of his piety and brilliance as a preacher, as well as his administrative ability, he was consecrated Bishop/Metropolitan of Pentapolis (an ancient diocese in Cyrenaica, in what is now Libya) by the Greek Orthodox Sophronios in 1889.
He served as a bishop in Cairo for one year, but was then unjustly removed from his post. This was a result of lies made up by jealous clerics who envied his popularity with the people. Patriarch Sophronios refused to listen to Saint Nektarios, who was sent away from Egypt without trial or explanation and was never given an opportunity to defend himself.
After his dismissal, he returned to Greece in 1891 and spent several years as a preacher (1891-1894). He was then appointed director of the Rizarios Ecclesiastical School for the education of priests in Athens, where his service was exemplary for fifteen years. He developed many courses of study and wrote numerous books, all while preaching widely throughout Athens.
In 1904 at the request of several nuns, he established a Women's Monastery for them on the Greek island of Aegina. The monastery was named Holy Trinity Monastery.
In December of 1908, at the age of 62, Saint Nektarios resigned from his post as school director and withdrew to the Holy Trinity Women's Monastery on Aegina, where he lived out the rest of his life.
The holy relics of Saint 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, particularlyduring 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 island of Aegina.
Saint Nektarios died on the evening of November 8, 1920, at the age of 74, following hospitalization for prostate cancer. The commemoration date was set at the next day, November 9th, because November 8 is the feast of Synaxis of Archangel Michael and Gabriel. The first posthumous miracle took place when the shirt of Saint Nektarios was accidently placed on the neighboring bed: a paralyzed man who was lying there was suddenly healed. The body of Saint Nektarios was taken to the Holy Trinity Women's Monastery, where he was buried by a Priest-Monk named Savas, who later painted the first icon of Saint Nektarios. The funeral of Saint Nektarios was attended by multitudes of people from all parts of Greece and Egypt.
Many people regarded Saint 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. Saint Nektarios also had the gift of prescience.
DECISION OF THE CHURCH OF ALEXANDRIA
Alexandria 15th September 1998
The Holy Spirit has enlightened the gathered members of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa, under the leadership of H.B. Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa, more than a century since Saint Nektarios, the great Teacher and Father of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church was expelled from the Church of Alexandria, to reach the following decision:
Taking into account the resolution of the Church to rank Saint Nektarios amongst the saints because of his innumerable miracles and his acceptance within the religious conscience of Orthodox Christians throughout the world, we appeal to the mercy of the ever-charitable God.
We hereby restore the ecclesiastical order of the Saint of our Century, Saint Nektarios, and grant to him all due credits and honors. We beseech Saint Nektarios to forgive both us, unworthy as we are, and our predecessors, our brothers of the Throne of Alexandria, for opposition to the Saint and for all which, due to human weakness or error, our Holy Father, Bishop of Pentapolis, Saint Nektarios, suffered.
By the Grace of God Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa
Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn. First Tone
O faithful, let us honor Nektarios, divine servant of Christ, offspring of Silivria 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."
"In joy of heart let us hymn with songs the newly revealed star of Orthodoxy, the newly elected bulwark of the Church; for, glorified by the activity of the Spirit, he poureth forth the abundant grace of healing upon those cry: Rejoice, O Father Nektarios, model of patience and lover of virtue." (Source: Akathist to Our Holy Father Nektarios of Aegina)