The Miracles of St Dionysios of Zakynthos



Saint Dionysios (before being a Monk, his name was Draganigos Sigouros), was born in 1547 in Zakynthos and he became a monk in 1568 at the Monastery of Strofades. After he took the first two degrees of priesthood, he was ordained as a bishop of Egina and Poros in 1577. Next year he abdigated from his dignity, and settled to Zakynthos as an abbot of the Monastery of Anafonitria, until his dormition in 1622. One day, during his living as a Monk in Strofades, he and the Monk who was following him together, came down to the seashore for fishing. However, the other Monk became thirsty, and wanted to go back to the Monastery to drink some water, as there wasnít any drinkable water nearby. Saint Dionysios indicated him a place by the shore, where the monk found water and quenched his thirst. The spring, is called "the Saintís spring" until today.


During the period which the Saint lived as a Monk in the Monastery of Anafonitria, he had to go to Zakynthos city, with Daniel deacon. On their way to the city a heavy storm started. In a miraculous way, Saint Dionysios and his companion did not get wet. A little later they met a torrent impossible to cross. Saint Dionysios blessed it; it stopped immediately, and they got across.


Once, Saint Dionysios and some priests were invited to the Monastery of Saint Georgios on Voidi Island. However the fishermen who transferred them on their boat, were preoccupied against priests, so they thought that the cause of their misorture in fishing was the Saint and the priests. Saint Dionysios who knew their thought showed them where to spread their net out. It was a place where, there werenít fish before. However the nets were so heavy, that the fishermen could not carry them. After this, they understood their mistake, knelt before Saint Dionysios and asked him for his forgiveness.


A Monk, who was also a priest, named Pagratios went to confess to Saint Dionysios, but he concealed the most serious of his sins. Although Saint Dionysios asked him repeatedly, Pagratios was determined not to reveal his sin. Saint Dionysios then reminded him, in an austere way, that in a certain day during the Mass, the Holy Bread had fallen from his hands. The priest surprised, fell on his knees, confessed his sin, and asked forgiveness from the Saint.


In the church of Saint Nicholas of Xenon, there was found a dead body of an excommunicated woman being dead a long time ago. Her body however couldnít be dissolved because of the excommunication, so her relatives begged Saint Dionysios to solve the punishment. He asked them to place her corpse on a stant, and he prayed in tears on his knees for the solution of the excommunication. As soon as the prayer of forgiveness was over, the corpse bent its head as if asking forgiveness, and it dissolved to bones and soil.


A hired murderer once killed Saint Dionysiosí brother because of some family enmity. As soon as he committed the murder, the murderer ran away to the mountains to avoid the wrath of the victimís relatives. At the same time a patrol was running after him. A little later the murderer arrived at the Monastery where the Saint was, and without knowing the relation between his victim and Saint, he asked for refuge. The Saint calmly asked the reason he was persecuted; he learnt that the man who was in front of him and asking for his protection, had murdered his own brother. Shocked because of his brotherís death, he contemplated the words Jesus Christ had uttered when He was on the Cross, and forgave those who had crucified Him. He, then, placed his hand on the murdererís head, blessing and forgiving him. A little later when the patrol arrived to the Monastery, the Saint told them he hadnít seen the murderer around there. As soon as the patrol went away, Saint Dionysios led the murderer to the back door of the Monastery, where he arranged that the murderer could leave on a boat.


Some years after Saint Dionysiosí dormition. His corpse was brought out and it was found untouched. Facing such a miracle the Monks of Strofades, placed His Holy Body in a special coffin, (Larnaka) in the Church of the Monastery, until his official proclamation as a Saint in 1703. Before this proclamation, the holy priest Daniel who was the abbot of the Monastery of Strofades, doubted Saint Dionysiosí holiness. One night, he thought he had seen the Monk who was responsible for the Church matters, asking his permission to ring the bell for the matins. Abbot Daniel went toward the Church. As he entered, he saw the Church being illuminated and Saint Dionysios standing outside His Grave and heading a Service, served by priests and deacons. One of the priests, turned towards abbot Daniel and asked him: "Are you informed or still doubting?" Abbot Daniel terrified left the Church. He soon returned to confirm his previous vision and saw Saint Dionysios returning to His Larnaka (grave), the light vanished and the priests disappeared.


A faithful woman from Zakynthos was very sad because she had four daughters but no son. She had heard from some relatives of hers about the miracles Saint Dionysios performs to everyone who faithfully asked for His help. Therefore, she prayed to Him, asking for a baby-boy. She had been praying and praying and one night she dreamt of a bishop saying: "Why do you pray to me? If you want your wish to be fulfilled go to Strofades and get the herb "amarakos", and another one which is behind the Sacred Gate of the Church. Boil them and drink the mixture, and you will give birth to a baby-boy as you wish." He blessed her and disappeared. The woman woke up and as she was thinking of the dream, she thought that the bishop in her dream, was Saint Dionysios himself, who had heard her prayers. Moreover he reminded her of Strofades where His Holy Corps was found. She immediately sent there one of her brothers to fetch the herbs carefully. She drunk them, with respect and faith as the Saint had ordered. In fact she became pregnant and gave birth to a baby-boy, blessing and thanking God and Saint Dionysios for His miracle.


In the meadow that the Monks of Strofades were cultivating goods for their needs, very often thousands of grasshoppers were eating the crops. As a means of salvation from this menace the Monks had found the litany of the Holy Body of Saint Dionysios around the Monasteryís land. This made grasshoppers to flee to the sea as if they were expelled.


Monk Mathew, who lived in Strofades Monastery, was once under the services of Saint Dionysios. One night in his dream he had a vision of Saint Dionysios, who was predicting that in eight days a destructive earthquake would take place, which would damage the Monastery. Thus, he advised the Monk to inform the abbot about it. However, the Monk didnít pay attention to the vision, regarding it just a dream. On the eighth day a destructive earthquake took place and most of the Monasteryís buildings were ruined. Among them was a falling tower who drew away a Monk being on it. At that time the Monk just prayed to Saint Dionysios and was saved, although he had fallen from such a high place.


A monk named Kailiopios, who came from Kefallonia, lived in the Strofades Monastery. But deep in his heart he wanted to get back to his island, leaving the Monastery. Being under such a temptation, Saint Dionysios appeared in his dream, and advised him not to abandon the ascetic life. The Monk obeyed his advice and stayed in the Monastery until the end of his life.


St DionysiosDissmyssal Hymn, First Tone


Let all us the faithful honour with one accord Dionysios, the offspring of Zakynthos, the president of Aegina, and the protector of the Monastery of Strophada. And let us cry unto him sincerely: By thy prayers save those who celebrate thy memory and cry unto thee. Glory to Christ Who hath glorified thee; glory to Him Who hath made thee wondrous; glory to Him Who hath granted thee unto use as an unsleeping intercessor.