July 8, 2022

Saint Prokopios and the Young Antonis from Kerkyra

Icon of St. Prokopios in the village of Agios Prokopios, Kerkyra

Antonis Koskinas from the village of Kouramades in Kerkyra was a child when his parents sent him in winter to the village of Varypotades, where there was a mill, to grind a bag of corn. It was quite a distance for his age. He went on foot but was too late because he was giving his turn to the others. He was last and the night overtook him.

His mother was worried about her child and taking a lantern went to look for him. She was afraid that while crossing a ravine with trees she would be attacked by jackals, who hid there and attacked passers-by at night.

When she reached a high place she shouted with all her strength: "Antoniii!" She heard her child's voice from the opposite hill responding: "Here I am...!" His mother was worried because her child would enter the dangerous stream and who would help him in the dark?

Suddenly she was surprised to see Antonis near her.

"My child, how did you get here? How did you arrive here in a moments time?"

"Mother, I did not come alone. I was picked up by a horseman whose horse was flashing because he was so sorry for me, and brought me."

"And where was the horseman from and how did I not hear the hoofs of his horse?"

"He said that he is from Psorari and his name is Prokopi, but his horse did not touch the ground because it was flying."

The mother understood that this was a miracle of Saint Prokopios. The next day she took Antonis and they went to his church in the nearby village of Psorari (today Agios Prokopios). As soon as Antonis saw his icon, he exclaimed: "It was he, my mother, who rescued me."

They thanked the Saint and from then on Antonis, after attaching himself to the Church, gave himself wholeheartedly to God. He was distinguished for his piety, his asceticism and for his other virtues.

Church of St. Prokopios in the village of Agios Prokopios, Kerkyra

In 1839, the inhabitants of the village of Agios Ioannis of Petritis, who needed a parish priest, requested that Antonis become their priest from the Governor of the Island and received his permission. Thus Antonis was ordained a hieromonk with the name Anthimos. He was trained in ecclesiastical literature and was a connoisseur of Byzantine music.

He lived ascetically and was very merciful. He had the reputation of a Saint.

When he reposed, he was buried by popular demand in the Church of Saint John the Hut-Dweller in Kouramades, as if he were a holy relic.

Around 1960, when the lamplighter went at night to light the lamps, he saw an inexplicable supernatural light illuminating the floorboards. By asking, he learned that the remains of the hieromonk Anthimos were buried there.

Source: From the book Ascetics in the World. Translation by John Sanidopoulos.