St. Spyridon, A Greek Orthodox Church Stands Tall At Sundown, San Diego, California, USA
St. Spyridon, Bishop of Trimythous.
~The son of poor parents, St. Spyridon was called the “Shepard Bishop” where he lived on the beautiful island of Cyprus. Born about 250 AD, he tended sheep as a young boy for his father. Described as simple hearted, humble and virtuous, and deprived of the opportunity for higher education, he was compelled to remain a shepherd although married with children. After his wife died, he served God even more devoutly with good deeds, hospitality and giving charity to the poor.
He was ordained a priest but continued to tend his sheep, which he loved very much. God answered his prayers with great miracles of healing and driving out demons. Because of this, St. Spyridon “the wonder-maker” was ordained Bishop of Trimythous, but even though he was elevated to the position of Bishop, he continued to keep the little farm of his parents and worked diligently tending his sheep.
Because St. Spyridon had no formal education, he could not read. Yet he had memorized the entire Holy Bible by listening to it being read in Church and in his home. During the persecutions of the Roman Emperor Maximilian (308-313 AD) St. Spyridon was exiled and labored in the mines of Cilicia until the death of Maximilian. He had suffered savage beatings at the hands of the pagan Roman soldiers and, as a consequence, lost his right eye.
In the year 325 AD, he was called by St. Constantine to help defend the Orthodox Christian Faith at the 1st Ecumenical Council which was held in the city of Nicaea, Asia Minor. There he explained the Holy Trinity by holding up a rock in his hand. Water came out of the bottom and fired burned from the top of the rock. Through prayer, St. Spyridon performed many other great miracles.
It was at Nicaea that he began a lasting friendship with St. Nicholas of Myra, because like St. Nicholas, the pagan Romans had also persecuted St. Spyridon. Upon his death in 344 AD, his remains were taken to Constantinople. In 1453 AD, his remains were removed and taken first to Epiros, and finally to the island of Kerkyra (“Corfu”). Although he died more than 1600 years ago, his body is still well preserved on Kerkyra. Thousands of pilgrims venerate his holy remains in the Church of St. Spyridon on Kerkyra each year on December 12, as the clergy carry his holy body through the streets of the city in an upright position. The hand of God has preserved his sacred body for all to venerate.~