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Saturday, December 24, 2022

Venerable Elder Symeon Vroulos of Psara (+ 1944)


The Venerable Elder Symeon Vroulos was born in 1853 in the village of Agios Ioannis on the island of Chios, and from an early age left for the Monastery of the Dormition of the Theotokos on the neighboring island of Psara, where he served as Abbot for a number of years.

Fr. Andreas Daphnos, in an interview with the magazine Apostoli (no. 55, 2003-4), was asked by the journalist about what made himself feel blessed. He answered: "I was found worthy to meet and receive the blessing, even while they were alive, of two holy persons who became saints. One was Saint Anthimos of Chios.... The other holy person I had the blessing to meet was another Saint of Chios, Saint Symeon the Abbot of Psara. From the age of eight he went to the Monastery and there he learned letters from the Psalter of David! He was, I remember, a very strong man and he cultivated the Monastery's estates with great love. At night they heard him go to a ravine next to the Monastery and break stones, in order to tame himself with work, as he said, and not allow the devil to fight him. In the morning he was regularly at his services. I was lucky enough to meet him when I was five years old. He took me into his arms and gave me his blessing."

Every resident or visitor to Psara who met the holy Elder has a story to tell about him. Whether it was a physical or mental illness that was cured with a blessing of his, or a piece of advice that the Elder gave them or someone close to them that really helped them. God honored the Elder with the prophetic gift and the stories about things that the Elder prophesied are endless. Even more rich was the activity of the Elder during the German occupation, where in the Monastery he hosted Greeks, Englishmen and Australians who fled to the Middle East. Despite his ninety years, his activity was such that the Gestapo watched the Monastery. He sent traitors three times allegedly to host them, which the Elder did, although he knew what his guests were, but with the help of God, none of them understood that at the same time dozens of Greeks and Englishmen were hidden in the Monastery.

The Venerable Elder Symeon reposed on December 24, 1944 and was buried in the cemetery of the Monastery in Psara. A few years later, a crowd of believers went up to the Monastery to carry out the exhumation and found themselves in front of the miracle which, in everyone's hearts, was expected. The Elder was was found to be incorrupt. And as soon as the tomb was opened a fragrance flooded the courtyard of the Monastery.
 
Grave of Elder Symeon


Relics and Skull of Elder Symeon


Dormition Monastery in Psara


August 15th at the Dormition Monastery
 
 
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