March 28, 2017

Saint Dionysios the Merciful, Metropolitan of Larissa (+ 1510)

St. Dionysios the Merciful (Feast Day - March 28)

Regarding Saint Dionysios the Merciful, Metropolitan of Larissa and founder of the Monastery of Saint Nicholas Anapausas at Meteora, there are no hagiographic texts, services, synaxaria or biographies.

Saint Dionysios is depicted in a fresco from 1627 on the left aisle of the Church of the Holy Unmercenaries in Trikala, where the seven "Holy Archbishops of Larissa" are depicted in chronological order from left to right: Saint Thomas Gorianitis, Saint Cyprian the Wonderworker, Saint Anthony the Most Erudite and New Theologian, Saint Bessarion, Saint Dionysios the Merciful, Saint Mark the Hesychast, and Saint Bessarion of the Savior.

The inscription of the fresco (Saint Dionysios the Merciful Archbishop of Larissa) indicates that his holiness of life was established in the consciousness of the people. The epithet "the Merciful" indicates that he was distinguished by showing particular mercy towards the people both within and outside the ecclesiastical space, showing compassion to those with a low social status and comforting those who suffered.

According to the above order of the Holy Archbishops of Larissa, he probably became Metropolitan of Larissa between 1489 or 1490 and 1499, and he held this position for a short time. Around 1499 he left his position to reestablish and retire at the Monastery of Saint Nicholas Anapausas at Meteora.

In the Chronicon of Meteora, which was written shortly after 1529, it says Saint Dionysios first gave the title "Abbot" to Hieromonk Joasaph, the "father" of the Monastery of the Transfiguration at Meteora, who is to be distinguished from the Monk Joasaph who established this monastery, and then he ordained him Bishop of Fanarion.

Saint Dionysios reposed in peace, on Holy Thursday in the year 1510.