Friday, May 15, 2015

Saint Panegyrios the Wonderworker

St. Panegyrios the Wonderworker (Feast Day - May 15)

The life of this local Saint of Cyprus has not been documented, nor does he have a synaxarion (a brief summary of the life of a saint used for liturgical purposes). What is mentioned below is some data from his Divine Service and the description of his icon. He probably came from the village of Malounta in the Nicosia district and lived as a hermit in a hermitage near the village.

Saint Panegyrios seems to have followed an ascetic way of life from an early age. His icon depicts him as a hieromonk (monk and priest) who is likely to have become a monk and later a priest at a nearby monastery. On his icon he is presented dressed as a priest with a phelonion (a liturgical vestment worn by a priest over his other vestments) and he is blessing with his right hand while with his left hand he is holding a Cross. The icon was painted in 1708 and was repaired again in the year 1841. To the right of the icon the following is read: "1708. This icon was painted at the request of the servant of God priest Christodoulos. Bless me O Saint and all my household." And on the left is read: "This icon was repaired by the Commission of Haralambos the pilgrim in the year 1841 after Christ." The icon is large, a size that makes it possible for the icon to be placed on an iconostasis, and was formerly in the old church of Panagia Chrysopantanasa of Malounta, but during the past few years it was taken, along with other icons, to the new village church which is also dedicated to the Panagia Chrysopantanasa.

It is unknown when the Saint lived, but from his Divine Service it seems that he had lived during the period of the Arab raids, when different parts of Cyprus had come under Arab rule at different periods. He taught the Christian way to the Christians and discouraged them from converting to Islam by telling them that Islam as a religion was a delusion; this is indicated by the phrase "the myth-making of the Hagarenes." Living as an ascetic and always having in mind the glory of the next life, Saint Panegyrios acquired divine devoutness and lived an unblemished life. And since he acquired these virtues, he was made worthy by God to perform miracles. He expelled devastating locusts and cured the sick who suffered from various diseases.

According to a local tradition of the village of Malounta, about forty years ago there were traces and ruins, surviving southeast of the community, which the residents of the village at that time believed it was the hermitage of Saint Panegyrios.

The memory of Saint Panegyrios is celebrated with a feast on May 15th.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
The glory of Cyprus and the boast of Malounta, you showed yourself to be a wonderworker, our God-bearing Father Panegyrios. You were garbed in the dress of the priesthood and showed yourself to be a source of miracles, to those who run with faith to your all-revered and divine church. Glory to God Whom you did please, Glory to Him Who crowned you, Glory to Him Who has given you to us as a sleepless intercessor.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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