Thursday, December 17, 2009

Selected Miracles from the Life of St. Dionysios of Zakynthos

Icon of St. Dionysios Bishop of Aegina, the Wonderworker of Zakynthos - Commemorated on December 17th and August 24th (taken from:

For the life of St. Dionysios Bishop of Aegina, the Wonderworker of Zakynthos, see:,
The following are a few miracles from the life of the Saint that don't appear in many of the hagiographies. They are amateur translations and summaries from the full life found in the service of the Saint in Greek here:

For a few miracles of the Saint after his death, see: 

May St. Dionysios intercede for us all and help us!
Selected Miracles from the Life of St. Dionysios of Zakynthos
One day the Saint wished to go from the monastery of Anaphonetrias to a place for some task, he said to his deacon Daniel [who was from Trikala of the Peloponese, and was ordained by the Saint and who remained in his synodeia] “get ready Daniel, let’s go to that place.” He replied, “Most-holy Despota, [Master: the traditional Orthodox greeting for a bishop] it looks like it is going to rain.” The Saint told him, “Let’s go to the glory of God, and don’t be an obstacle.” And after they had not gone too far from the monastery, it began to rain. The deacon said, “My Despota, didn’t I tell you it would rain? It’s better to turn back, because it is raining a lot and over-flowing.” But this man of God told him “Let’s go forward and nothing will happen to us.” And as the time passed, the rain increased even more. But O Your wonders O Lord! With all of the incredible rain, neither the archpriest’s nor the deacon’s clothes got soaked. And reaching a roaring river, over which they had to cross, and seeing it increased because of the rain that day, the deacon said to the Saint in wonder “and how, my Despota, will we now pass over this river?” Then the Saint with boldness replied, “Follow me in the name of Jesus Christ, and don’t hesitate at all.” The deacon therefore followed in obedience, and going forth from there [O paradoxical marvel] the current of the river stopped, raised up in one and another place, until the two passed over without their feet in any way touching rock. Then, the Saint seeing his deacon amazed by these incredible wonders, told him not to reveal this to anyone while the Saint lived. After the Saint’s death he revealed this clearly to the glory of God.

Reaching the place, at the Church of St. Nicholas, the Saint was to open a grave of strangers, as it was called, for there they buried strangers, for as this was part of the bishopric of Zakynthos, to bury another dead body. There they found the corpse of a woman, who had died a while back, who was not dissolved, with her clothes, for she died with the bond of misery or wretchedness [Note: most likely a ban because of sin or excommunication]. Her family went and fell at the feet of the Saint entreating him with tears to go to the above church of his bishopric to read the prayer of forgiveness for that wretched body, for the Lord wished to hear his request. The Saint felt compassion for their tears and when to that church in deep night, having with the Saint his synodeia and the deacon mentioned above, and the priest of that church, they brought the body into the church and held it upright in one of the stasidia of the church. Then he put on his epitrachelion and omophorion, and kneeling, he prayed for a long time, beseeching God to release the woman’s bond and dissolve her body, and reading the prayer of forgiveness. And the woman, as if alive, bowed her head as a sign of veneration towards the Saint, thankful for the great gift she had received, and fell to the ground, dissolved totally into dirt and bones. And as the Saint was humble-minded and a stranger to glory, he told all those present to not reveal this miracle to anyone alive.

The Saint did not only receive the gift of working wonders from God, but also the gift of discerning hidden sins, as occurred with a hieromonk who went to him for holy confession. He was a priest of Zakynthos named Pankratios Arvanitakis, who heard of the virtues of the Saint, his miraculous achievements and his life equal-to-the-angels, went one day to confess to him, and completing his confession, the Saint asked him if he could think of anything else to say. He replied that he couldn’t think of anything. The Saint said, “Look well my son, perhaps because of your heedlessness you forgot some sin and you will remain uncorrected. Therefore stop a minute, and think within yourself if you can remember another sin which you have done. For it definitely appears to me that you have not made a complete confession” The hieromonk sat, thinking for awhile, and then replied: “My Most-holy Despota, I can’t remember anything else, only grant me deliverance [i.e. read the prayer of forgiveness] that I might not try your archpriesthood any longer. Then the Saint, seeing how the confessee sought to leave without revealing the greatest of his sins which he had done as a man, said to him with austerity, “You don’t remember O wretched one, how you were liturgizing on that day in that church, and in your heedlessness and carelessness, let the precious pearl fall down?” Hearing this from the mouth of the Saint, the hieromonk, immediately remembered and was filled wholly with terror, amazed by the clairvoyance of the Saint, he saw how that offense was revealed, which man did not know, but the Saint with his his noetic spiritual thoughts knew, and falling at his feet poured forth tears of repentence, confessing the offense and seeking forgiveness. The spiritual father Dionysios, as an imitator of our most-sympathetic Jesus, accepted his repentence and correction, and he advised him to be careful from that point on, and said that he should liturgize the bloodless sacrifice with much fear and trembling, and with greater piety approach this heavenly King, to Whom even the Angels are unable to look upon. Wth guidances like these he granted him release, and sent him forth in peace.

(prayer at the end of the Synaxarion)
O most-honored Father and Archpriest of Christ Dionysios, to you we bend our nous and heart, and entreat you with reverence and with deep humility, accept the supplications and hymns which we offer to you, though they come from unworthy lips. Become a protector towards God, and most-fervent advocate, to all those who with unshakeable faith flee unto your sure support, and who celebrate with longing your all-festal memory. Especially we entreat you to protect and shelter your beloved homeland of Zakynthos, in which your thrice-holy Relic is located, which we radiantly and harmoniously celebrate out of debt. Dance, skip, and rejoice mystically on this glorious day of your incorruptible dormition, partaking of common joy all of his fellow citizens, made worthy in these last years, to give birth to such a patron and protector. Therefore in heaven and in your God-protected eparchy, Aegina of the Cyclades visit and help by your intercessions. Your royal and honored Monastery of Strophadon keep in harmony and true love, protecting the righteous ascetics who beseech the all-merficul God with your unassailable intercessions. Here then may we be delivered from every evil of soul and body, and after in the coming time, may we become partakers in the heavenly kingdom, which he was granted in Christ. Amen.

St. Dionysios of Zakynthos (Icon courtesy of used with permission)

Apolytikion in the First Tone
The offspring of Zakynthos and bishop of Aegina, protector of Strophades Monastery, Saint Dionysios, O faithful, let us all with one accord now honor and sincerely cry to him: "By your fervant prayers save us who are observing your mem'ry and who cry to you: Glory to Christ who glorified you; glory to Him who made you marvelous; glory to Him who gave you to us as a sleepless advocate."

Kontakion in the Third Tone
On this day doth Zakynthos call all the faithful together, rousing them to offer praise in songs and hymns of thanksgiving to our great and fervent helper in needs and sorrows, who doth swiftly rescue them that are caught in perils. And she honoureth him, crying: O Dionysius, boast of the faithful, rejoice!

Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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