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June 13, 2011

Saint Onouphrios of Koronisia

St. Onouphrios of Koronisia (Feast Day - June 12)

Little is known of St. Onouphrios except that which has been handed down from local tradition in the small island of Koronisia off Epirus, Greece, which is under the Metropolis of Nikopolis.

He was pious and humble and lived as a monk in the Monastery of the Nativity of the Theotokos in Koronisia. His humility was so great that his fellow monks would laugh at him. Yet two miracles changed their perception of him.

First, he was seen to return from a nearby dry island to the Monastery using his monastic cassock as a boat.

Second, after praying about it, his beard grew to reach the ground, like his patron St. Onouphrios the Egyptian.

It is unknown when exactly he died, though it is estimated to the 17th or 18th century, and he was recognized for his holiness and considered a saint. Over his grave a church was built in his honor.

His feast day is celebrated on June 12th together with his patron St. Onouphrios the Egyptian.

The Chapel of St. Onouphrios is very small and contains the relics of St. Onouphrios. It was likely built over a more ancient church structure from Byzantine times. The iconography dates to Ottoman times. Near the church is a well dug by St. Onouphrios which is still used by the islanders today. He is the only patron of the island.