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January 29, 2017

Saint Ignatios the Sinaite of Rethymno (+ 1632)

St. Ignatios the Sinaite of Rethymno (Feast Day - January 29)


Fragrant with non-possessiveness and prayer,
You gladdened Mount Sinai Ignatios.
Nikandros your subordinate O Ignatios,
You unusually saw justified.

In the sixteenth century there was a very virtuous hieromonk named Ignatios from Rethymno in Crete at Sinai in the Monastery of Saint Katherine. Ignatios took Nikandros as his novice. Since both desired to know the monasteries and hermitages of Mount Athos, they went and remained there for five years. But they again returned to the place of their repentance at Sinai believing they could find more quietness, and there they lived for the rest of their lives.

Hieromonk Ignatios was a very good and virtuous spiritual father. He had perfect indigence and continence and his constant work was prayer. His disciple however, Monk Nikandros, surpassed his Elder. He had greater temperance and indefatigable obedience to his Elder and attained a state of complete dispassion. He never appeared to be joyous or sad but always stood with the same unchanging state of mind. He would do a prostration to everyone and to whatever someone said to him he would always begin by saying "bless father".

Nikandros reposed in 1631, over a year prior to his spiritual father Ignatios. After a year the fathers went to the cemetery to bury another brother, and when Elder Ignatios entered to see the relic of Nikandros he found the corpse full and having the color of saffron and it was gushing myrrh. Saint Ignatios left the cemetery with tears, saying: "Thank you, Lord, that even while alive you gave me this information about my novice." Forty days later, Saint Ignatios reposed.

Saint Nikandros is celebrated on Bright Wednesday.

Apolytikion in Plagal of the First Tone
From Rethymno you rose as a star in the east, Spirit-bearing father; the luminous lover of virtue, non-possessiveness and prayer let us celebrate, for he brightly illumined, ascetics with dispassion, in Sinai as we cry out: deliver us from the gloom of our sins by your prayers Ignatios.