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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The Venerable Repose of Eldress Theodosia of Aegina


On Saturday 14 December 2019 at 11:15pm, the revered Eldress Theodosia, Abbess of the Monastery of the Holy Trinity/Saint Nektarios on the island of Aegina, reposed in the Lord.

Eldress Theodosia was known in the world as Erriketti Gounta, the youngest of many children to her parents Chrestos and Ourania. She was born in 1934 in Neochorio of Aitoloakarnania. A graduate of the Palamaiki School of Secondary Education in Mesolongi, after examinations she entered the Department of Economics and Political Science at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens School of Law where she successfully graduated.

For over thirty years (1955-1985) she worked as a senior member of the Ionian Bank. At that time she joined the Missionary Sisterhood of Hope. Coming from a traditional family environment where she grew up with honest Greek-Christian values ​​and being endowed with ingenuity, sensibility and philanthropy, she distinguished herself among her fellow students and colleagues. She was serious, short-tempered and restrained in her character.

After much prayer and consideration, with a deep awareness of the monastic life, she showed confidence in the words of Metropolitan Hierotheos of Hydra, and entered the Monastery of Saint Nektarios as a novice on 6 August 1987 at the age of 52. Her arrival coincided with the arrival of two other novices, so the Metropolitan named them at tonsure Theodosia (Erriketti), Kyriaki (Vasiliki Apostolopoulou) and Paraskevi (Anastasia Tzitzi). These three Virgin Martyrs were the most beloved Saints of Saint Nektarios, who had appeared before him in his cell while he was at prayer. Immediately after this vision, Saint Nektarios commissioned an icon of the three Saints together from Mount Athos, which since that time stands erected at the Prothesis of the Sanctuary in the Katholikon of the monastery. Theodosia was also given her name in honor of Abbess Theodosia (1968-1978), the sweet-sounding chanter of the monastery who had been tonsured by Saint Nektarios himself.


Sister Theodosia was tonsured with the Great Schema in 1999. She helped countless pilgrims in the convent's guesthouse by meeting their material needs and comforting and supporting them. She also served the monastery as a secretary for about twenty years. After the repose of Abbess Irene Papaleonardou (1978-September 2004), who personally knew Saint Nektarios, Sister Theodosia succeeded her.

She populated the Holy Monastery with many good young sisters. She extended the monastery building complex. She opened new cells with the sisters and the Holy Chapel of the Most Holy Theotokos in the Byzantine style. She opened the new guesthouses and dining rooms for pilgrims, the Chapel of Saint Savvas of Kalymnos on the foundations of his cell, etc. She was involved in the systematic publication of the complete works of Saint Nektarios, as well as his Life and Divine Office. She worked as a missionary, supported many monasteries, supported families and youth, contributed to the proper functioning of the Camps of the Holy Metropolis, the Foundation Museum, the Aegina Hospital "Agios Dionysios". With her charity and love inspired by Saint Nektarios, she embraced all who walked the threshold of the historic monastery.

Avoiding titles, she always referred to herself as "Sister Theodosia". She was devoted to services, prayer and study. Due to age and as a result of suffering from heart disease, she resigned as abbess on Thursday 1 August 2019, and was succeeded by Sister Timothei. Till the last day of her life she communed of the Divine Mysteries. After Metropolitan Ephraim read the prayers of forgiveness over her, she reposed in peace, delivering her soul into the hands of God. On December 15th her funeral took place and she was buried next to the Katholikon of the monastery. 



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