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October 27, 2020

The Chapel of Saint Nestor, Patron Saint of Athletes, Next to the Kaftanzoglio Stadium in Thessaloniki

  

 
Next to the Kaftanzoglio stadium and specifically in front of the auxiliary stadium, on Agiou Dimitriou Street, there is a Chapel of the Holy Martyr Nestor. In the area where the Kaftanzoglio stadium of Thessaloniki is now built, there used to be the refugee cemeteries and in the place of the chapel that now honors the memory of Saint Nestor it was once dedicated to Saint Photini, whose holy water flowed at that point. 
 
With the construction of the Kaftanzoglio stadium, the people in charge of the projects decided to demolish the chapel. The faithful tried to deter such a brutal act since according to the Orthodox faith the place where a church is erected is now sacred and relics of saints are placed in them during the construction of the church. Thus the demolition of a temple or the cessation of its operation is a tragic event. Despite efforts, the demolition plan was not canceled. 
 
The night before the chapel was to be demolished, according to the person responsible for making the decision to demolish it, Saint Nestor appeared in his sleep and told him not to disturb the chapel but to see to it that it receives his name in order to protect the athletes who would compete in the stadium next to the chapel. Shocked by the miraculous appearance of the Saint, he canceled the demolition and took care to rename the chapel, now honoring the memory of Saint Nestor, the patron saint of athletes.