March 13, 2019

The Rise of the Recent Veneration in Cyprus of Saint Marios the Bishop of Sebaste

Church of Saint Marios in Lythrodontas

Saint Marios is a relatively unknown Saint of the Church, who is referenced in the Small Euchologion published by Apostoliki Diakonia in 1956. It is believed he was the Bishop of Sebaste that attended the First Ecumenical Synod at Nicaea in 325.

Despite being relatively unknown and not included in the synaxaria, there are two recent churches on the island of Cyprus dedicated to him. The first is a church in Lythrodontas of Nicosia consecrated in 2015 and the second is a church along the river Rodanos in Mitsero of Nicosia consecrated in 2017.

The recent veneration of Saint Marios on the island of Cyprus came about after a three year old boy named Marios Chapelis (2 April 2002 - 9 June 2007), who suffered from a severe illness, had a visitation from the relatively unknown Saint Marios. After this, he asked his parents, Michael and Helen, for an icon of Saint Marios the Bishop of Sebaste.

When he was five years old and near death in the Makario Childrens Hospital of Nicosia, little Marios asked his parents to build him a house when he got married, and he indicated the exact spot he wanted the house to be built. His father replied that he will indeed build the house when he got out of the hospital, but Marios insisted that he had to get married first.

Soon after this conversation, Marios died. The parents then understood that their son was delivering a divine message to build a church dedicated to Saint Marios the Bishop of Sebaste.

Chapel of Saint Marios in Mitsero

Soon after the funeral of Marios, work on the construction of the church began in Lythrodontas of Nicosia, at the exact spot indicated by Marios. This was initiated through donations given at the boy's funeral, and it was fulfilled through a donation at the funeral of the late Maria Spyrou. The consecration of the church took place in April 2015.

Though the feast of Saint Marios is established as March 13th, the first festival of the church in Lythrodontas took place on 20 May 2018 for the feast of the 318 Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Synod.