Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Honoring a Saint: St. Nektarios in Our Lives

(this is the article I wrote on St. Nektarios for our parish November monthly newsletter)

Apolytikion of St. Nektarios
The offspring of Selyvria and the guardian of Aegina, the true friend of virtue who didst appear in the last years, O Nektarios, we faithful honour thee as a godly servant of Christ, for thou pourest forth healings of every kind for those who piously cry out: Glory to Christ Who hath glorified thee. Glory to Him Who hath made thee wonderous. Glory to Him Who worketh healings for all through thee.

St. Nektarios was born in 1846 and reposed in 1920. St. Nektarios was a pious bishop of Alexandria, Egypt. Other clergy, jealous of Nektarios’ favor with the Patriarch, spread slanderous rumors about him, which caused him to be exiled from Egypt. He went to Greece but because of the rumors he had a difficult time finding work within the church. He settled in Athens, where, due to his popularity among the people, he eventually became the Dean of the Rizarios Ecclesiastical School. Later he founded a women’s monastery on the island of Aegina where he retired when his health failed. He reposed in 1920. St. Nektarios is commemorated on November 9th.

Rather than write an article about St. Nektarios’ life I am going to write about our own experience with this wonderful Saint. First, I would like to share St. Nektarios’ first miracle right after his repose. On November 9, 1920, St. Nektarios fell asleep in the Lord. “However, even in death St. Nektarios continues to perform miracles, the first of which occurred in the very hospital room in which he died. With the passing of St. Nektarios, a hospital nurse, assisted by a nun from the monastery, immediately began to change his clothes and threw his undershirt on the next bed. In this bed lay a paralytic, who once the undershirt landed upon him, was instantly healed and jumped out of bed praising God for his miraculous healing. This was the first of many miracles that St. Nektarios began to perform in death.” (

There is a special place in our hearts for St. Nektarios. To pinpoint exactly when, where, and how St. Nektarios entered into our lives is difficult. I do know that it wasn’t just my family or Paul’s family that loves St. Nektarios; but both of our families have a devotion to this modern day Saint of the Last Days.

Someone very close to us was taken in an ambulance to the emergency room with symptoms of a stroke. While waiting for the doctor, this person was anointed with oil from St. Nektarios and immediately, all the signs of the stroke disappeared. This person walked out of the hospital! This miracle touched our family very deeply.

A few months later, we found out that we were expecting our first child. During the first trimester of my pregnancy with Pavlos my parents went to Greece. While there, they made their first trip to Aegina to venerate the relics of St. Nektarios (knowing about the above miracle). My parents, knowing that I have chronic health problems and that pregnancy could potentially be very difficult for me, brought back some Holy Oil from the monastery. Paul anointed me every night during that pregnancy. And we prayed that, through the intercessions of St. Nektarios, God would protect me and our unborn child. The pregnancy progressed with none of the scary complications that the doctors said would happen. We did not know whether we were having a girl or a boy but we had decided to name our child some form of the name “Nektarios” to honor this saint and his having protected me and the baby. And then Pavlos was born and we named him Pavlos Nektarios (Pavlos after Paul’s father and Nektarios after our beloved St. Nektarios.

Most of you remember our second pregnancy with Petros Nektarios. Again, Paul anointed me daily and we decided, again, that if we were to become pregnant our child would have some form of the name “Nektarios”. I did eventually become pregnant with Petros but this time I developed some very scary complications. I ended up in the hospital for almost two months. Paul would come to the hospital to visit me and often anointed me with oil from St. Nektarios. Now we were praying that through the intercessions of St. Nektarios, the Lord would continue to protect me and our unborn child. Petros was born at 33 weeks during an emergency c-section. He spent the first month of his life in the NICU with an icon of the Theotokos and an icon of St. Nektarios. It was a difficult time and we are very thankful that through St. Nektarios, God strengthened us to be able to endure that trial.

And now we have two very beautiful, healthy boys. Through the intercessions of St. Nektarios, may the Lord have mercy on us and save us. Amen.


Susan said...

Very nice tribute to a wonderful Saint, who is very close to our heart..

Pres. Kathy said...

St. Nektarios is close to my heart also. May he protect us all.

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Amen, amen, amen !