Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Elder Eumenios Saridakis canonized

Icon of Sts. Anthimos of Chios, Nikephoros the Leper, and the Newly-canonized Eumenios (Saridakis) (

On April 14th, 2022, the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate canonized Elder Eumenios (Saridakis) (

Holy Elder Eumenios Saridakis:
the holy friend of lepers

Reposed on May 23Sunday before Pentecost, 1999

StPorphyrios of Kavsokalyvia used to say about Elder Evmenios: “You should go and receive the blessing of Elder Eumenios, for he is the hidden Saint of our time. A saint like Elder Eumenios comes along only once every two hundred years ”.

Fr. Eumenios was born in 1931 in Ethia of Monophatsion in the province of Heraklion of Crete, the eighth child of a poor family of faithful Christians. He became a monk at the age of 17; he struggled to cultivate his soul with love and prayer and was tested very harshly by leprosy; but later also, while a priest, by a demonic influence which tormented him in body and soul, but was freed of it after many prayers, vigils and exorcisms in monasteries of Crete, such as the monasteries of Koudoumás and Panagía Kalyvianí. 
Leprosy brought him to the Hospital for Infectious Diseases in the St.Barbara suburb of Athens. He was healed there, but, having seen human suffering, he decided to remain at the Hospital as a priest, in order to help comfort his fellow-men as much as he could! That was where “he was to begin his pastoral work, in the presence of which, those with theological degrees and ecclesiastic offices ought to kneel”.

His love and his ascetic labours brought God’s grace upon him; this humble priest (who officiated in the chapel of the Holy Unmercenaries and Physicians, Saints Cosmas and Damianos, situated inside the Hospital for Infectious Diseases) reached a high degree of sanctity – which he kept secret as much as he could – and became endowed with the gift of foresight, lofty spiritual experiences and visions and helped countless people of every social class and level of education – not only with his advice and his prayers, but also with his sanctified presence.

The Elder loved everyone, every individual personally, and he was particularly a laughing saint – his booming laugh was one of his distinctive features – likewise, he would often exit the Inner Sanctum during the course of a Liturgy, with his beard soaked by his tears, since he used to pray for all of our suffering and unfortunate fellow-men, obviously because he also had the gift of tears.

At the Hospital for Infectious Diseases, he was blessed to meet the leprosied holy monk Nicephorus [St. Nikephoros the Leper] who, even though blinded by the illness, had nevertheless become a great spiritual father of many Christians and a teacher to Elder Evmenios.

He spent the last two years of his life at the “Annunciation” Hospital and on May 23, 1999 he gave up his spirit in the Lord and was buried at his birth place (in Ethia), in accordance with his wishes. (cf. Monk Simon, Fr. Evmenios – The hidden saint of our time, Athens 2010, ed. 2, pp. 137-146). (

Apolytikion of St Eumenios Saridakis in the Plagal of the First Tone

A divine comforter for those storm-tossed, the defender of those in dangers and the sure guide of the faithful towards piety, let us praise Eumenios with our hymns, for he suffered with zeal equaling Job, and drives away the evil spirits, and he is our good-minded intercession with the compassionate Lord.


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