Tuesday, July 28, 2015

New Venerable Martyr Nektarios the Agiannanites (+ 1922)


Nektarios came from Vourla of Smyrna. He first lived as a monk in the Hut of the Nativity of Christ at the Skete of Saint Anna on the Holy Mountain. Then he went to the Hut of the Archangels, where he took care of Elder Anthony from Kythera and his brother Chrysanthos, who from his constant standing his feet withered. He was then invited by Elder Azariah (†1947) to the Hut of the Honorable Forerunner. Also, he was a good iconographer. One of his works is the wonderworking icon of Saint Irene Chrysovalantou in Lykovrysi Attica.

Papa-Chrysanthos (†1981) wrote how Nektarios "was so merciful, that, if it were possible, even the walls of the Hut of the Honorable Forerunner he would have given as alms to the hermits and the brother slaves under the Turks. Only the blessed Elder Azariah knew his work. One day when he was shoveling the gardens, he told me: 'Do you know the work of Elder Nektarios? After Compline he goes to the hermits and gives whatever he has.'"

Monk Nektarios seated in the middle, in the Hut of the Honorable Forerunner in 1919.

Elder Nektarios and another Elder from Saint Anna's wanted to go to their homeland, in Vourla. In Smyrna, however, the Turks had gathered many clerics and monks in a line to be slaughtered. Everyone waited in fear for their death, and only Elder Nektarios consoled them: "Brothers, we abandoned the world as young children for Christ, and now that we have gained His goodness to die with a martyric end, we are afraid? Whatever wrong we have done we should confess in order for the fear of death to flee from us." Everyone obeyed his words, confessed, and took courage and had a martyric end. Only one Deacon was saved and narrated the incident to Papa-Chrysanthos, who concluded:

"Do you see what almsgiving does? Because Elder Nektarios had almsgiving to a great degree, in the end, this first daughter of God, almsgiving, helped him to defy death and be martyred for Christ."

References:

Χρυσάνθου Αγιαννανίτου ιερομ., Γεροντικαί ενθυμήσεις και διηγήσεις, Μώλος Λοκρίδος 2008, τ. Α’, σσ. 148-151.

Μοναχού Μωυσέως Αγιορείτου, Μέγα Γεροντικό εναρέτων Αγιορειτών του εικοστού αιώνος, Τόμος Α’ 1901-1955, Εκδόσεις Μυγδονία, Σεπτέμβριος 2011.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

To read about his wonderworking icon of Saint Irene Chrysovalantou, see here.

Wonderworking Icon of St. Irene Chrysovalantou painted by Elder Nektarios in 1919,
and bears his signature towards the bottom.

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