March 13, 2024

Saint Ypomoni and the Taxi Driver

Saint Ypomoni, the mother of the last Roman Emperor who reposed on March 13th 1450 after living the last 25 years of her life as a nun, once appeared as a nun to a resident of Athens, who worked as a taxi driver. She signaled for the taxi to stop and pick her up, and asked to bring her to Loutraki, near Corinth.*

The taxi driver at his time had skin cancer on his hands and was in great despair. On the way the nun wearing a cowl with a red cross asked him: "Why are you melancholy?" He did not hesitate to confess the truth. Then she asked him if he wanted her to bless him with the sign of the cross so that he would be healed, and he accepted. Soon after this he got the sudden urge to sleep, and asked the nun for them to stop for a while, so that they would not be killed. They were near the toll booth and could easily find another taxi if she was in a hurry.

He parked on the side of the road and fell asleep. When he awoke, he found that his hands had healed, but the nun had disappeared. He asked the toll people if they had seen any nuns nearby, but no one had seen her.

Then, shocked, he returned to his taxi and realized that some saint appeared and disappeared. He then returned to Athens and went to his doctor and told him about the incident. At that moment his eyes focused on an icon that was hanging on the wall of the doctor's office. He jumped out of his seat and shouted, "That's her."

It should be noted that the icon was of Saint Ypomoni. That's how he learned who she was who healed him and saved him from despair.

The cowl with the red cross indicated her origins before she became empress of Byzantium, and with this monastic schema she ended her earthly life. Later it became known that the day the miracle took place was March 13, the day the Saint celebrates her feast. She is also commemorated on May 29.


* In 1952, the skull of Saint Ypomoni was discovered in a cave of Loutraki together with the relics of Saint Patapios. The skull was brought there by her nephew after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans. In this cave was also a fresco of Saint Ypomoni, dating approximately to the 15th century (see image at the top of this page).

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