On August 27 the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the Feast Day of Agios Fanourios, commemorating the Martyr and Miracle Worker who is asked to intercede when things are lost.
Fanouropita is also made on August 27th, to commemorate Saint Fanourios.
The story behind this is said to be that the Saint’s mother is said to have been a tough, and hard woman especially towards the poor, and behaved inhumanly and The Archangel Michael, along with Agios Fanourios, tried to help her change but couldn’t.
Agios Fanourios begged and prayed not for himself but for his mother to be forgiven and for her soul to rest in peace and this is said to have been heard by God. So now the faithful also turn to Agios Fanourios to intercede for them and to pray for them when they lose objects and ask for him to reveal them or to bring them something they desire, especially good health, fertility, or even a for a husband and wife for those who are single.
There is a special church dedicated to Agios Fanourios, which is located at Lake Doxa, which is an artificial lake in western Corinthia, Greece. It is situated at an elevation of 900 m, in the municipal unit Feneos, near the village Archaia Feneos.
Construction was completed in the late 1990s. It is fed and drained by the small river Doxa, which empties into the plain of Feneos. In the heart of the lake on a small peninsula features the small church of Agios Fanourios.
Agios Fanourios’ name is from the Greek word ‘fanerono’ which means reveal.
The tradition of baking a Fanouropita is a great honour bestowed upon the Saint.
Many Greeks worldwide today will make a Fanouropita and take it to church to be blessed and then they will share it amongst family and friends.
When you make the cake, you are also meant to say-
“Lord have mercy on the soul of Agios Fanourios’ mother.”
Today is also the name day of Fanourios, Fanouria.
Here is an easy to follow recipe-
- 1 x cup olive oil
- 1 ¼ cups fresh orange juice
- 2 x teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 x teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 x cup sugar
- 2 x cups self-raising flour, sifted
- 1 x cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 x teaspoon baking powder
- Icing sugar for garnishing (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a 20–25 cm round cake tin with baking paper.
- Place the olive oil, orange juice, cinnamon, cloves and sugar in a bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves a little.
- Gradually add the flour, mixing well, then add the walnuts, followed by the baking powder. Stir until well combined.
- Pour the cake mix into the tin and bake for 15 minutes.
- Reduce the temperature to 130°C and bake for a further 40 minutes or until cooked (a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean). Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
- Dust with icing sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.