December 17, 2021

The Miracle of the Kalimavkion of Saint Dionysios of Zakynthos

When you see an icon of Saint Dionysios of Zakynthos, you will notice that although he was a Bishop who is wearing episcopal vestments, on his head he does not wear the traditional mitre that Bishops wear, but instead he wears the monastic kalimavkion and epanokalimavkion (black cylindrical hat with a black veil).

If you visit the relic of Saint Dionysios in his church in Zakynthos, you will see the same thing; he was not buried with a mitre, but he is wearing the epanokalimavkion.

As to why this is so, we have no historic details, however, the fathers who care for the relic of the Saint have tried over the centuries to remove the kalimavkion and replace it with a mitre, but they were always unable to remove it.

One time, it was decided by the fathers to use force and remove the kalimavkion in order to replace it with the mitre. However, they used so much force that it tore a portion of his scalp in the area of the forehead, which caused warm blood to flow.

This sign was seen as a miracle by the fathers, and they never attempted to remove the kalimavkion again. They therefore put the epanokalimavkion back on him, apologized, and left him in peace, according to his will.

Saint Dionysios, by this miracle, wants to show that he was to be primarily remembered as a monk with a monastic phronema, and not as a bishop which he served as for only a short time in Aegina.