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14 February 2020

Saint Nectarios of Aegina Death Centenary

Romania: Saint Nectarios of Aegina Death Centenary (miniature sheet), 14 February 2020. Images from Romfilatelia.

Romfilatelia introduces into circulation on Friday, February 14, current year, the postage stamps issue entitled 100 years since the passing into eternity of the Saint Hierarch Nectarie from Eghina.

Saint Hierarch Nectarie was born in 1846, in the Thracian Silivria (locality near Constantinople), from poor but very god-fearing parents, Dimos and Maria Kefalas, receiving the baptism name of Anastasie.

At the age of 14 he went to Constantinople to attend school. In 1866, at the age of 20, Saint Nectarie went to the island of Chios to teach as a teacher. On November 7th, 1876 he was inducted in monasticism, receiving the name of Lazar, in the well-known Nea Moni Monastery. A year later he was ordained a deacon, then, through the generosity of a rich Christian from the island and with the help of Patriarch Sophronie IV of Alexandria, he was able to finish his studies in Athens and obtain, in 1885, a diploma of the Faculty of Theology in the capital of Greece.

In the same year, Holy Hierarch Nectarie left for Alexandria in Egypt, where he was ordained a priest at St. Nicholas Church in Cairo. A few years later, in 1889, he was ordained a bishop and appointed Metropolitan of the Pentapolis (eparchy corresponding to Upper Libya at that time) by Patriarch Sofronie, who appointed him Patriarchal Secretary and representative in Cairo.

After only a year he was expelled from Egypt following the calumnies of envious clerics. He had to return to Athens, alone, disregarded, despised, in great material shortages. He remained a preacher for some years (1891-1894), and was later appointed director of the Rizarios Theological School, which trained future priests, where he remained for 15 years.

In 1904, at the request of several spiritual daughters who wished to become nuns, he founded the “Holy Trinity” Monastery on the island of Eghina, which today is one of the great pilgrimage sites in the Orthodox world. In December 1908, at the age of 62, Holy Hierarch Nectarie resigned from the position of director of the theological school and retired to his monastery in Eghina, where he remained until the end of his life.

He passed to the Lord on November 8th, 1920, following a prostate cancer. He was buried in his monastery by the iconic Hieronymite Sava, who later painted the saint’s first icon.

At the age of 33, in 1953, the relics of the Holy Hierarch Nectarie are moved to the new church of the monastery. The commemoration of his relocation is celebrated on September 3rd.

On April 20th, 1961, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople proclaimed the canonization of St. Nectarie, commemorating November 9th.

Saint Nectarie Thaumaturge is one of the most beloved and most sought after saints recently known, especially as a healer. The miracle-making power that springs from its relics, located at the “Holy Trinity” Monastery on Eghina Island, attracts thousands of believers. Those seeking peace and healing can worship the relics of the Holy Nectarians and at the Monastery “Radu Voda” in Bucharest, where there is a fragment donated in 2002 by a Greek archbishop and kept in a reliquary within a canopy in the church’s fortress.

By bringing this blessed gift, this monastery became “Romanian Eghina”.

The icon of the Holy Hierarch of Eghina, reproduced on the homage postage stamp, is part of the patrimony of the Monastery “Radu Voda” with the dedications of the Holy Trinity and the Holy Hierarch Nectarie from Eghina. The monastery was founded by the voivode Alexander II Mircea (1568-1577) and his lady, Catherine with the intention of being the Metropolitanate of the Capital.

Romfilatelia brings thanks to the Monastery “Radu Voda” in Bucharest, for the blessing and the documentary support offered to the achievement this postage stamps issue.

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