November 24, 2013

Synaxis of the Saints of Agia

All Saints of Agia (Feast Day - Last Sunday of November)

Agia (Αγιά) is a village and a municipality in the Larissa regional unit of Thessaly, Greece. Agia is located east of Larissa and south of Melivoia. The Mavrovouni mountains dominate the south and the Aegean Sea lies to the east.

Agia, both by its name and etymology, refers to a region (where there flourished the monastic state of Kellion Mountain or Mountain of Cells [Όρος των Κελλίων]) where holy people live, because there were many monasteries and many monks who lived there. Indeed, the number of monasteries, churches, chapels and ecclesiastical treasures in Agia are very many.

This place has some of its own particular cultural and ecclesiastical characteristics. It was also made worthy to pull out its bowels Saint Symeon the Barefooted and One-robed, to accept within it Saint Damianos, to accept as a visitor the sacred preacher and hieromartyr Saint Kosmas Aitolos, and to honor for centuries in a unique way both Saint Anthony's, the Great and the ascetic of Beroia.

The biggest local celebration is that of Saint Anthony on September 1st. The establishment of a local celebration of all the Saints of Agia is to completely honor these great Saints, and it helps in the spiritual cultivation of the residents.

In the past, when the hierarchical commissioner of Agia was Fr. Ioannikios Varvarelis, the icon of All Saints of Agia was commissioned and there was an attempt to structure a certain liturgical service, but this was unsuccessful. Later, when the hierarchical commissioner of Agia was Fr. Nektarios Drossos, a special conference took place (18 May 2003) titled "Synaxis of the Saints of Agia" with seven relevant presenters.

Later, the priests of the region of Agia proposed and the Metropolitan of Demetrias accepted in 2008, for there to be established an ecclesiastical feast called "Synaxis of the Saints of Agia" for the last Sunday of November. The Saints to be honored on this day are:

- Saint Symeon the Barefooted and One-robed, who built the Sacred Monastery of Flamourion and died in 1594. His precious Skull is preserved in his Monastery and is celebrated on April 19.

- Saint Damianos of Kissavos, whose hermitage is preserved on the mountain of the same name near the village Anatoli. He celebrates on February 14.

- Saint Kosmas Aitolos, who celebrates on August 24.

- Saint Anthony the Great, who celebrates on January 17.

- Saint Anthony the New of Beroia. He is honored at Agia and his memory is celebrated on September 1.

- Saint Nicholas the New of Vounenis, who celebrates on May 9.

The center for this ecclesiastical ceremony and event is in the historic Sacred Church of Saint Anthony in Agia.

Source: Translated and edited by John Sanidopoulos.