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Monday, May 31, 2021

Holy Synod of the Church of Crete Unanimously Agrees to the Official Canonization of Elder Eumenios Saridakis

In a meeting today, 31 May 2021, of the Holy Synod of the Church of Crete which gathered in Heraklion, all the Bishops unanimously agreed to the proposal of Metropolitan Makarios of Gortynos and Arcadia which he proposed on the Sunday of the Veneration of the Honorable Cross this past year, which is to submit for official canonization the name of Archimandrite Eumenios Saridakis to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Brief Biography

Archimandrite Eumenios was born in 1931 in Ethia of Monophatsion in the province of Heraklion in Crete. He was the eighth child of a poor family of pious Orthodox Christians. At the age of 17 he became a monk. He struggled to cultivate in his soul all the divine virtues and prayer and was tested very harshly by leprosy; but later also, by a demonic influence which tormented him in body and soul, but was freed of it after many prayers, vigils and exorcisms in monasteries of Crete, such as the monasteries of Koudoumas and PanagĂ­a Kalyviani.

Leprosy brought him to the Hospital for Infectious Diseases in the suburb of Agia Varvara in Athens. He was healed there, but, having seen human suffering, he decided to remain at the Hospital as a priest, in order to help comfort his fellow-sufferers as much as he could. It was here that he met and became the spiritual father of Saint Nikephoros the Leper.

His love and his ascetic labors brought God’s Grace upon him; this humble priest (who officiated in the Chapel of the Holy Unmercenaries, situated inside the Hospital for Infectious Diseases) reached a high degree of sanctity – which  he kept secret as much as he could – and became endowed with the gift of foresight, lofty spiritual experiences and visions and helped countless people of every social class and level of education, not only with his advice and his prayers, but also with his sanctified presence.

The Elder loved everyone, every individual personally, and he was particularly known as a "laughing saint" – his booming laugh was one of his distinctive features; likewise, he would often exit the holy sanctuary during the course of a Divine Liturgy, with his beard soaked by his tears, testifying to his gift of tears.

Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyva used to say to others about Elder Eumenios: “You should go and receive the blessing of Elder Eumenios, for he is the hidden saint of our time. A saint like Elder Eumenios comes along only once every two hundred years.”

He spent the last two years of his life at the Annunciation Hospital and on May 23, 1999 he delivered his spirit to the Lord and was buried at his birth place (in Ethia), in accordance with his wishes.
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