The events for Saint Dionysios behind closed doors.
The festive events for our patron saint of the island of Zakynthos, Agios Dionysios, will be held behind closed doors this year due to coronavirus restrictions. A sad thought considering that this time of year Zakynthians would flood our church to honour him in everyway they could. Perhaps this is a first in history as I for one can certainly not remember the faithful not being able to take part of the religious celebrations. Even during the great quake of 1953, celebrations still took place among the people.
Fortunately, we have technology and all does not seem lost. Our local television station Ionian t.v will broadcast the ceremonies from within the church live over the three-day celebration.
The programme is as follows:-
– On Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 5 pm, the procession of the Seventh Relic inside the Temple and then the Great Episcopal Vespers.
– On Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 8.00 in the morning, the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and the doxology at the propylaea.
– On Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 8.30 in the morning the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and at 11 the procession of the Seventh relic inside the Holy Temple.
At least we have IONIAN t.v supporting our morals and ecclesiastical culture, in these difficult times, bringing our Saint to all Zakynthians and across the world, both online and through television images from Zakynthos.
Please click HERE for live coverage
Saint Dionysios, a spiritual giant not only among Zakynthians but throughout Greece. He seems to be among the living, through the miraculous preservation of his holy body. He was born on Zakynthos in 1546. His ancestry can be traced back through the Venetian conquerors. Within a family tree St. Dionysios’ roots lay part in Italy and part Normandy. Born into the then ruling class when Venice was a dominant force in Zakynthos. Dionysios is said to have been baptised into the Christian faith with the name Draganinos. Having a godfather, Gerasimos of Kefalonia, who was himself destined to become later a venerated saint of the Church.
Not only are the saint’s relics untouched by time, but he is also one of Greece’s “walking saints” (St Gerasimus and St Spyridon are the others). He is said to leave his reliquary and walk about performing miracles for those who seek his aid. The fabric of the slippers of Saint Dionysios of Zakynthos highlight the art and similarity of slippers in the Ionian Islands from the 18th century onwards. In fact when he is taken among his people, the soles of his slippers wear out and must be replaced with a new pair from time to time. The old slippers are cut up, and the pieces are distributed to pilgrims as a good luck charm and the possessor away from harm. These three day celebrations are celebrating his feast day. Many Zakynthians are named in honour of our Patron Saint, am sure there is not one house throughout Zakynthos without the name derived from Dionysios.
HAPPY NAME DAY to those who are celebrating and XRONIA POLLA to all.
Photo by :- Astrid Eckstein