On this the 17th day of the month, we commemorate the holy father among the saints, St. Dionysios of Zakynthos, Bishop of Aegina and the Wonderworker...
The holy hierarch, Saint Dionysius, was born and raised on the island of Zakynthos. He was the son of pious and wealthy parents, Mocius and Paulina. In his youth he entered the ancient monastery of the Strophadon Islands, which are located south of Zakynthos, and there he donned the monastic habit.
Later, he was appointed Archbishop of Aegina, and adorned its throne for a considerable time. Eventually, he returned to his homeland.
One incident in his life especially reveals to what virtue he attained. One night, a man came to him at the monastery in desperation, confessing that he had committed a murder, and was being pursued by the slain man's family. He asked Saint Dionysios to hear his confession, and to give him refuge. The Saint agreed to this... However, in the confession, he realized that it was his own brother whom the man had slain, yet he said nothing, but concealing the agony of his grief, forgave him and hid him. When the Saint's family arrived at the monastery, he told them that the murderer had gone the opposite direction. When they had departed, he admonished the man concerning the gravity of his sin, instructed him in repentance, and sent him off in peace having forgiven him his brother's murder. According to local tradition, this man later returned and became a monk at this same monastery. Saint Dionysios reposed in peace in 1621, leaving behind his sacred and incorrupt relics as a treasure for his fellow citizens. To this day, his body is still incorrupt and is the pride of Zakythos, as the hymns say, joining St. Spyridon (Kerkyra) and St. Gerasimos (Kefalonia) as the three incorrupt and walking saints of the Ionian Islands.
St. Dionysios is the patron saint of forgiveness, and is the protector and patron of our Archdiocesan camping ministry, Ionian Village.
By their holy intercessions, O Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen!