The Life of St. Nectarios
Saint Nectarios was born in Silyvria, Greece, on October 1, 1846, and was named Anastasios. His parents were poor, but they gave him a rich Christian upbringing. When he was seven years old, he bought paper and sewed the sheets together, stating that he would write the words of GOD in his "book." At the age of fourteen, he went to Constantinople in order to work in a tobacco shop. He spent his spare time reading religious books. He would copy and memorize passages that he liked on bags of tobacco which customers took home with them. When he was twenty years old, he went to the island of Chios where he served as teacher in Lithi for seven years. He spent much time in study, prayer and fasting, eating only once a day. He fulfilled a great desire and became a monk on Chios taking the name of Lazaros, and the fulfillment of another great desire to study the Holy Scriptures and the Fathers of the Church.
After three years he was ordained a Deacon with the name Nectarios. Because of his great piety and thirst for knowledge in Theology, a rich man named John Horemis sponsored him and sent him to Athens to finish high school. After he received his diploma, he was sent to the Patriarch Sofronios of Alexandria who took a great liking to him and who sent him back to Athens to become a Theologian at Athens University. After his graduation, he returned to Alexandria where he was then ordained a Priest in 1886. Three years later he was ordained Bishop of Pentapolis. He served the Church with great devotion and enthusiasm, but although loved by the majority, his piety stirred up envy unfortunately among a few Clergymen who slandered his reputation unjustly to the Patriarch who believed these false accusations and sent Nectarios to mainland Greece. The accusations however followed him and he was not able to be appointed to any position. Saint Nectarios, of course, readily forgave all who had harmed him. Finally, after 1 year of suffering and near starvation, he was appointed as a simple Preacher in Halkida of Euvoia, a position he held for about two years. He was then transferred to another area, again to serve as a Preacher.
In 1894 he was offered a position as Dean of the Rizarios School where young men are trained for the Priesthood. He worked hard for 14 years, and placed the School on a spiritual plane that it had never enjoyed before or since. His great love for monastic life finally made him decide to establish a monastery for women in 1904 on the island of Aegina. He spent the remainder of his life helping to build the monastery with his own hands, and tending its gardens, cleaning the buildings, repairing the shoes of the nuns, and in general showing all signs of great humility and love to his LORD and to his fellow man. He was known for his ability to perform miracles by the Grace of GOD and to foresee future events. He spent many nights and other spare hours in writing. All the money from his publications he would give away to those in need.
The last years of his life he suffered from prostate. The nuns finally, against his will, took him to Athens to the Aretaieon Hospital. The attendant who admitted him could not believe that he was a Bishop. Saint Nectarios appeared to be only a. simple monk. Because he was poor, they put him in a large ward, where he gave up his soul after 2 months of sheer agony, at about midnight, on November 8, 1920.
After changing his clothes, they casually threw his sweater upon the closest bed. The man in the bed, who was hopelessly paralyzed, got up and danced; he was completely and instantaneously cured. The body of Saint Nectarios exuded a sweet-smelling ointment that soaked his hair and beard. He was then taken to Piraeus and then on to Aegina by boat where hundreds of people thronged in great mourning and carried him for burial to the Monastery.
He was exhumed five months later. The body was not only intact, but it continued to emit the beautiful fragrance. In 1932, he was examined by a doctor who could not believe the perfect condition in which the body with all its flesh and hair existed. Years later, by the LORD’S will, the body disintegrated naturally, and this is in order that his relics be distributed in time all over the world.
In 1961, The Ecumenical Patriarchate officially declared The Sainthood of Saint Nectarios. Saint Nectarios, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, continues his miraculous cures in abundance all over the world. We pray that more Orthodox Christians will call. upon him for assistance and consolation. Saint Nectarios is a living SAINT, a friend who shares our pain and sorrow if we put faith in his power, GRANTED TO HIM BY CHRIST, as a reward for his virtuous life.
Check out this link for more information about our Patron Saint, Saint Nektarios Of Aegina.