Saint Nectarius

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Saint Nectarius is a recent saint of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Nectarius was born Anastasios Kefalas in Silivria, Eastern Thrace, on October 1 of 1846. He left his home town at age 14 to be educated in Istanbul and started teaching on the island of Chios. At age 30, he became a monk and received the name Lazarus. By 1877 he was ordained a deacon, changing his name to Nectarius.

Nectarius went to Athens to complete his secondary studies. In his second year he won a scholarship and received his degree from the school of theology in 1885. The following year he was ordained a priest.

On January 15, 1889, he became Metropolitan of Pentapolis (Egypt). The new Metropolitan soon became very popular with his constituents which led his rivals to slander him and have him removed from the throne. Nectarius left Egypt for Athens, penniless and jobless. He eventually was assigned as a simple preacher in Chalkida, Euboea. In 1892, he became director of the Rizarios Theological School, a position he held until 1908 when he resigned for health reasons.

Nectarius withdrew to the island of Aegina where he led an ascetic life. He died on November 8, 1920.

Many miracles are attributed to Saint Nectarius. His body exuded myrrh and did not decay for 33 years. In 1961 he was declared a saint by the Greek Orthodox Church. His feast day is on November 9.