July 14, 2017

The House of St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite in Naxos

The family house of St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite in Naxos

Dozens of pilgrims go to the island of Naxos searching for the home where St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite was born and raised, which at one time was preserved intact but now is difficult to locate. St. Nikodemos was born in Naxos in 1749 and lived in this house till he was fifteen, at which time he went to Smyrna to further his education. Locals kept the tradition of the location of his family home for generations, but although it was a protected Historical Monument, today it no longer is. This is why today, if you visit the traditional location of St. Nikodemos' house, you will find that it is now the vacation home of John Laskaridis, President of the Greek National Council for Radio and Television, and the ground floor of the building is occupied by a tourist shop.

Only the name of the street, Odos Agiou Nikodomiou (Saint Nikodemos Street), has remained to remind the pilgrim that this is where the great figure of Orthodoxy, St. Nikodemos, was born and raised. The reason this house is no longer a Historical Monument, however, is through the actions of John Laskaridis, who according to the Mayor of Naxos is the one who removed it from the list. And with the tourist shop at the ground floor, the old marble steps of the house were destroyed.

When news of what the Greek State allowed to take place with the house of St. Nikodemos became public, hundreds reacted, and even made Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece to write a letter in 1999 to the then Minister of Culture, Elizabeth Papazois, to restore the law and recognize the historical truth of the tradition of the location of the family home of St. Nikodemos.

This article has pictures of the house of St. Nikodemos before and after the renovation, together with John Laskaridis above and Archbishop Christodoulos below.