On December 12 the Greek Orthodox Church commemorates the Feast Day of Agios Spyridonas the Wonderworker, who is the Protector of poor people and the Patron Saint of the island of Kerkyra. He is known and respected in both the Western and Eastern churches for the variety of miracles that he performed, including resurrections of the deceased.
Agios Spyridonas of Tremithus was born towards the end of the 3rd century on the island of Cyprus. He was a shepherd and had a wife and children. He used all his substance for the needs of his neighbors and the homeless, for which the Lord rewarded him with a gift of wonderworking. He healed those who were incurably sick and cast out demons.
After the death of his wife, during the reign of Constantine the Great (306-337), he was made Bishop of Tremithus, Cyprus. As a bishop, the saint did not alter his manner of life, but combined pastoral service with deeds of charity.
Because of his exceptional piety, he was chosen as bishop of the city of Trymithous. Yet even as a bishop, he did not change his simple way of living, handling his livestock and cultivating his land himself. He used very little of the fruits of his labor for himself; instead, he distributed a greater share to the needy.
He manifested great miracles by God’s power: he brought down rain in time of drought, stopped the flow of a river, raised several people from the dead, healed Emperor Constantius of a grave illness, saw and heard angels of God, foresaw future events, discerned the secrets of men’s hearts, converted many to the true Faith, and did much else. He took part in the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea (325), and he brought many heretics back to Orthodoxy by his simple and clear expositions of the Faith as well as by his mighty miracles. He was so simply dressed that once, when he wanted to enter the imperial court at the invitation of the emperor, a soldier, thinking that he was a beggar, struck him on the face.
Meek and guileless, Spyridon turned the other cheek to him. He glorified God through many miracles and was of benefit, not only to many individuals but also to the whole Church of God. Saint Spyridon died on December 12, 348 in Trymithous,
His miracle-working relics rest on the island of Corfu, and even today they glorify God with many miracles.
Today is also the Name Day of Spryridonas and Spyridoula.