February 10, 2023

The Metropolitan Who Was Granted an Extension of Life from Saint Haralambos

Metropolitan Dionysios of Trikki and Stagon (1905-1/4/1970)

Since the feast of Saint Haralambos is approaching, we will share with you a story that Father Gerasimos Fokas of Mytilene used to tell us and is related to Saint Haralambos:

During the Second World War 1940-1942, Metropolitan Dionysios of Trikki and Stagon served as a preacher of the Holy Metropolis of Mithymna and in August 1942 he was arrested by the German occupiers on the charge of helping and treating British soldiers. The Germans tortured him severely and sentenced him to a ten-year prison term.

In the first phase, he was sent to Thessaloniki to the Pavlos Melas Camp, and then he was for three years in the German camps Stone and Bernau, where he was horribly tortured and was on the verge of death several times. With the intervention of the Panagia, he survived.
After the end of the war, he continued his ministry in Mytilene, Nafpaktos, Karpenisi and also organized the Seminary of Apostolos Barnabas in Cyprus.

Skull of St. Haralambos

Dionysios also worked hard for the lawful recognition of Meteora as a sacred site. At some point Dionysius fell ill with terrible pains from his incurable disease and had not finished his work. Then he asked that they take to him the most-honorable Skull of Saint Haralambos, which is located in Meteora, in the Monastery of Saint Stephen the Protomartyr. Saint Haralambos appeared to him and they talked.
The Metropolitan begged the Saint to intercede with the Lord to get an extension of life to complete his work.

"You will live another five years, Dionysios," he told him.

And indeed he recovered his strength, and performed his duties, and the five years passed.

At the beginning of 1970, again pains came along with a worsening of his illness. Again Metropolitan Dionysios asked for the Skull of Saint Haralambos and again the Saint appeared before him. He asked him for a little more of a life extension.

“No, Dionysios, didn't we say five years? Now you have to leave."

Father Gerasimos would say this last part with a sneer, adding: "You see, that was the agreement."

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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