January 19, 2022

The Skull of Saint Makarios Kalogeras of Patmos

The sacred skull of Saint Makarios Kalogeras rests in the Patmiada Ecclesiastical School, which he founded, on the island of Patmos.
The Patmiada School is located near the Cave of the Apocalypse in Patmos. The foundation of the Patmiada School, also referred to as the Great General School of the Nation, was the most important event of 18th century Greece. The school was founded by Makarios Kalogeras in 1713, though the initial efforts were made by Metropolitan Gregory.

Makarios Kalogeras studied theology and philosophy at the Patriarchal School of Constantinople, and always enjoyed the support of eminent families like the Mavrokordatos family and the Ypsilanti family, so much that he was appointed as the successor of the Metropolitan of Nicomedia.

However, Makarios craved to teach and therefore returned to Patmos and created the Patmiada School near the Holy Cave of the Apocalypse. He was known as the deacon monk of the island who had played an important role during the Ottomans occupation of the nation. As the founder of the school, he was an example for the bright students who in their thirst for knowledge came from as far off places as the Peloponnese, Athens, Bucharest, Asia Minor and Russia, as the school became an intellectual and religious center.

The school became popular due to many of its famous professors and students who went on to become prominent men in Greek history. Makarios received advice and support from great teachers of his time and of special mention here are Emmanuel Xanthos and Emmanuel Ypsilantis. The increased popularity of the school saw the school size growing to accommodate the increased number of students.

When Makarios died in 1737, his pupil the monk Gerasimos the Byzantine continued the mission, and in 1902 it became a school for priestly studies, but the school saw difficult days ahead after it was transferred to Samos in 1907 because of lack of financial contributors. The activities of the school were closed down but after the liberation of Patmos in 1947, some generous donors aided the funding of its new buildings. Then, it was rebuilt a few meters above its ancient location.

The school still reveres its founder as an honorable, educated, wise and virtuous man of Orthodoxy who directed the nation's attention in order to increase in knowledge and spread faith in education to free the oppressed communities of the enslaved nation from their grievances.
Saint Makarios Kalogeras was canonized in 1994 and is celebrated by the Church on January 19th.