St Elessa of Kythera – feast day August 1 (in English and Greek)

An Orthodox icon of St Elessa of Kythera from Mount Athos.

A Greek Orthodox icon of St Elessa of Kythera from Mount Athos (1956).

St Elessa came from the Peloponnese and was the daughter of a rich Greek, named Elladios. Her mother Eugenia was a devout Christian and was barren. So through prayer she had Elessa miraculously, whom she raised according to the dictates of the Gospel and under the difficult situations caused by her pagan husband. At the age of 14 years, Elessa was orphaned by her mother and was thus left the lady of her father’s rich house. Countless were her beneficences and charities for the deprived and suffering fellow people. Sometime, though, her father induced her to marry a pagan ruler, but she refused. So when one day her father left for a trip, Elessa divided all her belongings to the oor and with her most loyal of servant-girls, escaped to the island of Kythera. There through prayer, she did many miracles. But when her father returned from the trip and learned what had happened, he was very angry, and upon discovering where Elessa was, he left to bring back. But Elessa’s opinion was contrary to that of her pagan father. Then he, after he tortured her mercilessly, he finally decapitated her and she thus all-worthily obtained the crown of martyrdom. (The memory of this Saint is not mentioned anywhere in the «synaxaristes»: we find her as a martyr only at Kythera).
Καταγόταν από την Πελοπόννησο και ήταν κόρη ενός πλούσιου Έλληνα, που ονομαζόταν Ελλάδιος. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »