Thursday, April 14, 2022

Elder Eumenios Saridakis Has Been Officially Recognized as a Saint by the Ecumenical Patriarchate


The Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate has proceeded with the canonization of Elder Eumenios Saridakis.

Elder Eumenios is now listed among the Saints of the Orthodox Church, following a proposal by the Canonical Committee, and the recommendation from Metropolitan Makarios of Gortyna.

According to the Holy Synod, he is known as our Venerable and God-bearing Father Eumenios the New (Saridakis).
 
A few words about Elder Eumenios:

Father Eumenios was born in 1931 in Ethia of Monofatsi, in the prefecture of Heraklion, Crete and was the eighth child of a poor and faithful family. He was baptized with the name Constantine.

He said of himself in his own words:

"I, at seventeen years old, went to the monastery. I was in my village for sixteen years. I loved God, of course, I often thought of becoming a monk. One day the priest says to me: 'Let me make you a sexton.' I went. I lit the lamps morning and night, I even read, I read whatever books I saw. On New Year's Day 1944, in the afternoon, I went, lit the lamps in the church, and then went to our house. My sister Eugenia was there. We ate xerotigana, tiganites and makarones. Where we were eating, a flash came and blinded me and entered the depths of my soul. And immediately, at the same time, I shouted to Eugenia: 'Eugenia, I will become a monk!' At the same time, at that moment when God illumined me, I saw with my own eyes that glow that entered me. As soon as I saw this glow, I said directly: 'I will become a monk.'"

He became a monk at the age of 17, struggled for the cultivation of his soul with love and prayer and was severely tested by leprosy, but also later by demonic possession, with which he was tortured psychosomatically and freed after many prayers, vigils and exorcisms in monasteries of Crete, such as the monasteries of Koudouma and Panagia Kaliviani.

The leprosy brought him to the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Agia Varvara, Athens. There he was healed but, seeing the human pain, he decided to stay in the Hospital as a priest, to help as much as he could the relief of his fellow human beings.

Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyva said of Elder Eumenius: “Go and receive the blessing of Elder Eumenius, because he is the hidden Saint of our days. You can find someone like Elder Eumenios only every two hundred years."

At the Hospital of Infectious Diseases he was fortunate to meet the leper Saint Nikephoros, who, although blinded by his illness, became a great spiritual father of Christians and a teacher of Elder Eumenius.

In 1975, at the age of 44, Elder Eumenios (who up to this time was known as Monk Sophronios) was ordained a presbyter and took the name Eumenios.

He spent the last two years of his life in the Evangelismos Hospital and on May 23, 1999 he surrendered his spirit to the Lord and was buried, according to his wishes, in the place where he was born (in Ethia).
 
Icon by Monk Hilarion of Koudouma Monastery

 
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