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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mega Dendron: The Village of St. Kosmas Aitolos

Kosmas, who was baptized Kostas Dimitriou, was born in a mountain village named Mega Dendron (or sometimes called Megalo Dendro, which is translated as "Great Tree"), a municipal district of Thermo, in 1714 to pious parents who hailed from Epirus but had moved to the province of Aitolia, where they worked as weavers. Kosmas remained and worked with his parents until the age of twenty. He had received little or no formal education during this time, although his brother Chrysanthos had given him the rudiments of an education when he was much younger and it is said he attended a Secret School at the Holy Monastery of Saint Paraskevi in Mandra where he was taught by Fr. Prokopios Giannelos.

Unhappy with his life and with his inability to understand the Gospel which he loved to hear in church, Kosmas decided to leave his village and his parents to receive an education.

Once, feeling the need to introduce himself to his audience, Kosmas said:

"My false, earthly, and fruitless homeland is the province of Arta, in the district of Apokouro. My father, my mother, my family are pious Orthodox Christians. However, I too am, my brethren, a sinful man, worse than anyone. But I'm a servant of our Lord Jesus Christ who was crucified.... Leaving my homeland fifty years ago, I traveled to many places... and especially to Constantinople. I stayed the longest on the Holy Mountain, seventeen years, where I wept over my sins. Among the countless gifts which my Lord has granted me, he made me worthy to acquire a little Greek learning and I became a monk."

When one travels to his native village of Mega Dendron today, there is the beautiful and progressive Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration in which is kept a relic of a foot of St. Kosmas. One can also visit the home in which St. Kosmas was raised as well as the grave of his parents. There is also a monastery dedicated to St. Kosmas.

Mega Dendron was also the village St. Eugenios the Aitolos (Aug. 6), who was born in 1595 or 1596.

Below are photos of the relic, the house and the graves of the parents of St. Kosmas. More photos can be seen here and here.

The receiving of the relic of St. Kosmas by Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Mega Dendron

The entrance to the house of St. Kosmas

The grave of the parents of St. Kosmas

Statue of St. Kosmas in the yard of the house
The Museum of St. Kosmas Aitolos
The Museum of St. Kosmas Aitolos
Inside the museum of St. Kosmas
The prophecies of St. Kosmas inside the museum

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