Saint Spyridon

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Saint Spyridon
The Thaumaturgist (Wonder-worker)
Born 270, Askia, Cyprus
Died 348, Trimythous, Cyprus
Venerated in Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism
Beatified ?
Canonized ?
Major shrine Corfu
Feast December 12 (East), December 14 (West)
Attributes Episcopal insignia, potsherd, basil
Patronage Piraeus, Corfu

O most blessed hierarch Spyridon, thou great Saint of Christ and glorious wonder-worker! Standing in heaven before the throne of God with choirs of Angels, look down with a compassionate eye upon the people gathered here (N.___) and asking thy powerful help. Entreat the merciful kindness of God Who loveth mankind, that He judge us not according to our iniquities, but rather act towards us according to His mercy... [1]

Saint Spyridon (Greek Άγιος Σπυρίδων) c. 270-348) is a saint honored in both the Eastern and Western Christian traditions.

Spyridon was born in Askia on Cyprus. He worked as a shepherd and was known for his great piety. He married and had one daughter, Irene. Upon the death of his wife, Spyridon entered a monastery, and their daughter, a convent.

Spyridon eventually became the Bishop of Trimythous, near Paphos and a was a vocal opponent of Arianism. He reportedly converted a pagan philosopher to Christianity by using a potsherd to illustrate how one entity could be composed of three unique entities (fire, water and clay; a metaphor for the Christian Trinity). The shard is said to have miraculously begun streaming water and producing a small flame as soon as Spyridon finished speaking.

Spyridon took part in the Council of Nicea, but fell into disfavor during the persecutions of the emperor Maximinus.

Whe the Arabs took Cyprus, Spyridon's body was disinterred for removal to Constantinople. The body was allegedly uncorrupted, and contained a sprig of basil, the "royal plant," — taken as a sign of his confirmation as a saint.

When, in 1453, Constantinople fell to the Turks, Spyridon's relics were removed again; this time, to the island of Corfu, where they remain to this day. The relics are taken in procession every Palm Sunday and on other special occasions, for veneration by the faithful.

Spyridon is the patron saint of potters (from the purported miracle of the potsherd), the island of Corfu and the city of Piraeus. His feast is celebrated on December 12 in the East and December 14 in the West.

The common Greek name Spiros is a derivative of "Spyridon."

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