Saturday, December 17, 2016

St. Dionysius of Zakynthos

St. Dionysius of Zakynthos was born in 1547 on the island of Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea (Greece). Before becoming a monk, his name was Draganigos Sigouros. He was educated by priests and became fluent in Greek, Italian, and Latin. He excelled in theology, became a monk in 1568, received his first degree of ordination as a priest in 1570 as Daniel; he later became the hieromonk of Zakynthos and Strofades. In 1577, he was raised to Archbishop of Aegina and Poros, and after a year, abdicated from this dignity and settled in Zakynthos as an abbot of a monastery. In December 17, 1622 he fell asleep in the Lord. He had asked to be buried in this monastery and his grave is still to be found in the chapel of St George; a dependent of the monastery. 

It has been found that his body remains intact and emits a mixed fragrance of flowers and frankincense. Therefore he is venerated, and his sainthood has been proclaimed by the Patriarch of Constantinople. His feast day is celebrated on December 17, and on August 24, the Church celebrates the transfer of his holy relics.

St. Dionysius is an example to us all for his forgiveness of even the most grievous sins against us.

St. Dionysius rests in the church which bears his name in Zakynthos, where opening his tomb is often found impossible. It appears as though this occurs when Dionysius is out performing miracles. Afterwards, when the tomb can be opened, seaweed is found at his feet and his slippers are found to be worn thin. In fact, his slippers need continual replacement because they receive so much wear! He is often seen alive and walking.
The Holy Monastery of Strofades and Saint Dionysios

Together with your child, read "Saint Dionysius of Zakynthos" by Potamitis Publications!

In honor of his forgiving spirit, color a forgiveness coloring page and discuss how we can "forgive those who trespass against us" like St. Dionysius did.