May 4, 2012

Sts. Timothy and Mavra Save Ioannis Kapodistrias

Ioannis Kapodistrias was a Greek diplomat of the Russian Empire and later the first head of state of independent Greece. He was born in Corfu and studied medicine, philosophy and law at Padua, in Italy. When he was 21 years old, in 1797, he started his medical practice as a doctor in his native island of Corfu. The following miracle occurred while he was a doctor in Corfu in May of 1803.

In Corfu Ioannis lived about 3 km outside of the city of Kerkyra, in Koukouritsa. On 3 May 1803 they notified him to visit a certain sick man in the city. He mounted his horse and left for the city. When he had covered half the distance, the horse suddenly arose in fear and galloped away, dragging him along since his foot got caught in the saddle.

At the same time the hieromonk Masellos of Platytera Monastery, which was located near the city, while he was reading the Service of Saints Timothy and Mavra and praying, he felt something terrible was happening near his Monastery. By some supernatural power he went outside to see what was happening, when he saw the horrible sight. The horse was running furiously while dragging the injured Ioannis Kapodistrias. He petitioned the grace of the celebrated Saints Timothy and Mavra and managed to stop the horse and release the injured doctor. He brought Ioannis into the Monastery and attended to his injuries. When Ioannis recovered he ascribed his wondrous salvation to Saints Timothy and Mavra and always loved them as his protectors, and to the Holy Monastery of Platytera he gave many great offerings, and Hieromonk Masello since that time was his spiritual father.

This miracle became well known throughout Corfu and two iconographers of the time depicted this event in three icons. Two of these are in the Monastery (the first shows the Hieromonk holding the reins of the horse of the runaway horse, and the second shows the horse with a fallen Kapodistrias and the two Saints above him). The third icon is kept in the Holy Monastery of the All-Holy Theotokos in Aixoni of Glyfada (property of the priest Fr. Mario Dapergolas).

It was because of this miracle that Ioannis Kapodistrias was entombed at the Holy Monastery of Platytera in the narthex of the church, together with some of his other relatives.