September 21, 2019

The Story Behind the Only Church in Greece Dedicated to the Prophet Jonah

The only church in Greece dedicated to the Prophet Jonah is in the village of Anoskeli in Kisamos on the island of Crete. It was consecrated on the Sunday of All Saints, 30 June 2013, and built entirely by the pious local family of Demetrios and Maria Stefanoudakis. It is a beauteous, stone-built church, very neat and groomed. On Saturday 21 September 2013, the Church of the Prophet Jonah celebrated its first feast day, with a procession of his icon around the church before the celebration of the Festal Divine Liturgy.

Demetrios and Maria Stefanoudakis built this church to fulfill a vow they made and to glorify God for the miracle He performed in the life of their son, Constantine. Constantine Stefanoudakis was a sailor in the remote town of Adelaide in Australia, and fell victim to a car accident on September 21, 1985, resulting in serious injury. His father, Demetrios, as soon as he heard of the accident, prayed to God to keep his son alive, and he promised to build a church in return on property his son had already begun building a house. The vow was fulfilled with the building of the church, and it was dedicated to the Prophet Jonah, since it was on his feast day on September 21st that the accident happened. Though Constantine lived, he remained disabled for 26 years, until he departed this life on April 12, 2011.