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September 28, 2020

Synaxarion of the Finding of the Relics of the Venerable Neophytos the Recluse of Cyprus

On this day (28th of September) we commemorate the Finding of the Relics of Venerable Neophytos the Recluse of Cyprus.


The faithful removed the dust from you Neophytos,
Indicating that you live, having passed over to another place.
He, who due to his love for God, forsook his homeland, parents and every worldly pleasure, to follow Christ and was now found worthy to attain every virtue by divine grace, so that his all-revered relic was venerated by the pious, which granted healings to those who kiss it with faith, and which was hidden, became manifested again after 550 years, at the Monastery of Enkleistra where he lived, which was named after him, having lived as a recluse in a cave next to it for 50 years, in which he followed the path of asceticism.
At around the year 1750 from the Lord's incarnation, a father of the Monastery, having been conquered by the passion of avarice, went to Enkleistra mentioned above, namely the cave on the cliff, to the church the Venerable one consecrated, as mentioned in his testament, having been built before the monastery below it, and was given the name of the Honorable Cross, and situated within the cave. Knowing that there was a treasure hidden within the structure, namely the grave of the Venerable one, he went to visit this place, and found a hollow area at the memorial, which until then was not hollow.

The other fathers, with some occupied with the service of the Monastery, and some elsewhere, this monk went to the cave at night, and with an iron tool he dug out the grave. This grave which contained the relic of the Venerable one, had been hidden for years, as mentioned above. When the island fell to the Hagarenes, and was looted due to either avarice or hate against the Christians and what they sacredly revered, graves and entire structures were dug and lost. The monk however was unable to lift or move the large heavy stone above the grave, so with his shovel he managed to break it in half. Before he found out what was contained within, a darkness came over him by divine power, for having dared to do such a thing, and he fell to the ground as one dead. Deep into the night he recovered, and he came down from the cave terrified. In the morning he confessed to the abbot everything he had done, and all that happened to him, which he dared to do that night.

Thus the abbot with the fathers went to the hollowed grave, and found the wooden container of the grave, undecayed and undamaged, the length of a man, and having opened it, they beheld the relic of the Venerable one, with a chain around his skin that the blessed one wore over his flesh while he was alive, his rags alone decayed, and there was an indescribable fragrance. After a procession and prayers, they moved reverently the relic from the container to a casket they had made, and they sealed it, so that due to it being revered, it would not be distributed by many. And bringing it down from the cave, they placed it with honors in the Monastery of Enkleistra below, where it is kept guarded until today, with reverence by the fathers there. All those who with faith approach his divine corpse, unambiguously receive healing of incurable diseases, and are delivered from various sufferings, through the invocation of his sacred name.

Through his holy intercessions, Christ God, have mercy on us and save us.
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos. Written by Monk Gerasimos Mikragiannanitis.