November 16, 2023

Synaxarion of our Venerable Father Athanasios the New of Amarousio

This blessed and newly-appeared luminary of the Church came from a village in Achaia, which the mountain inhabitants of the Peloponnese call Tourlada. He was born in 1891 to poor but most pious parents, Vasilios and Konstantina Hamakiotis, and he received the name George at baptism.

From his youth he gave examples of what he was to become. He demonstrated modest moral conduct and exercised the fear of God. Praying to the Lord at night, he longed for the great ministry of the priesthood, but first he received the schema of the angelic state of the monastics. Thus, when he was fifteen years old, full of divine eros, he reached the Holy Lavra of Achaia, where his father's brother, Chariton Anagnostopoulos, was also living as a monk at the time. There, after a seven-year trial and then after studying at the Priestly School of Arta, he was tonsured a monk and was renamed Athanasios. On the 14th of September 1921, he was ordained a presbyter and from then on he shone like a bright lamp on the lampstand of the Sacred Gospel in the saint-producing Monastery of Lavra, spreading everywhere the light of divine virtues and excelling for ten years with his actions, his words and all of his gifts.

Due to his poor health, he left for the city of Athens. After staying in various areas near the renowned city, such as Analipsi, Glyfada and Mandra, he sought the peaceful life of the rector and for this he accepted to be appointed as the rector in 1936 at the famous Chapel of Panagia the Neranziotissa in the then city of Amarousio. There, as a blameless confessor and a tireless priest, he exercised his priestly duties and left his paternal legacies to his beloved flock, which he taught and guided with sincerity.

In the year 1963, he rebuilt from the foundations an old monastery located in Rodopolis, Attica, which, with the grace of the Panagia Faneromeni, he established and raised up as a women's monastery. There the divine Athanasios appeared as an angel with a body. With much effort and sweat, he devoted himself to sacred study, drawing to his person all the thirsty souls and guiding them to the philosophy of Christ. Thus he offered the holy Church many fruits, correctly dividing the word of truth.

He put forth almsgiving, which he performed as a sacrificial act day and night, entrusting and providing for himself in his poverty, as spoken by Ephraim the Syrian, "Most blessed is he who benefits many poor people, because at the Judgment he will find many advocates."

In this way, he led his blessed life, leaving an eternal witness to all who came to him, and he reposed in the Lord on the 17th of August 1967, surrendering his spirit to the hands of the Lady Theotokos, full of days and good works. As his divine body was buried in the monastery that he himself founded, the various signs of the consolation, presence and boldness of the venerable Elder never stopped, since an indescribable fragrance pours out from his tomb over all the aromas, according to the divine saying of the Scriptures, causing those who reverently come to his holy monastery to take delight and be sanctified. Enriching with miracles his mediation to the Lord, he gladdens the faithful and initiates us even after death into the splendor of life and eternal salvation. With much desire and respect, as well as sympathy as a merciful father to his children, he dedicated himself to the unwavering ministry of God and people.

Through his venerable intercessions, Christ God, have mercy on us. Amen.
 By the Sacred Metropolis of Amorousio

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

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