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  • Orthodox icon of Saint Spyridon (3)
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Spyridon icon (3)

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Orthodox icon of Saint Spyridon (Σπυρίδων) the Wonderworker of Corfu Bishop of Tremithus

Copy of icon from 15th cent.

Commemorated December 12th.

Saint Spyridon was a shepherd on Island of Cyprus. He was married with children. He was very generous that he would even give his food for basic needs to those who were homeless and in greater need than himself. When his wife died he was made a bishop of Trmithius but he kept his simple life style.

Saint Spyridon was a participant in the 1st Ecumenical Council in 325. He made his point with a dramatic action. He took a brick in his hand and squeezed it. At that instant fire shot up from it, water dripped on the ground, and only dust remained in the hands of the wonderworker. “There was only one brick,” St Spyridon said, “but it was composed of three elements. In the Holy Trinity there are three Persons, but only one God.”

He healed and even raised a dead infant from the dead.

There is story told by Socrates Scholasticus about how robbers planned to steal the sheep of St Spyridon. They broke into the sheepfold at night, but here they found themselves all tied up by some invisible power. When morning came the saint went to his flock, and seeing the tied-up robbers, he prayed and released them. For a long while he advised them to leave their path of iniquity and earn their livelihood by respectable work. Then he made them a gift of a sheep and sending them off, the saint said kindly, “Take this for your trouble, so that you did not spend a sleepless night in vain.”

St Spyridon lived his earthly life in righteousness and sanctity, and prayerfully surrendered his soul to the Lord.

When the Arabs took Cyprus, Spyridon's body was disinterred and taken to Constantinople. The relics were found to be incorrupt, and contained a sprig of basil, the "royal plant," both of which were taken as a sign of divine confirmation of his sanctity. When, in 1453, Constantinople fell to the Turks, Spyridon's relics were removed again; this time, to the island of Corfu by a Corfiote monk called Kalohairetis (Καλοχαιρέτης), where they remain to this day.

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