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Politics

Feast Day of St. Isidoros Celebrated in Bethpage (Vid & Pics)

May 23, 2018

BETHPAGE, NY – A large crowd attended the celebration for the Feast Day of St. Isidoros of Chios in Bethpage on May 20. St. Isidoros Greek Orthodox Church was founded in 1974 by His Eminence Metropolitan Petros of blessed memory. The traditional Orthodox parish follows the Patristic (Julian) Calendar and is growing steadily with many young families.

The celebration began with the Divine Liturgy and also featured a procession with the icon of the saint. The parish is part of the Holy Metropolis G.O.C. of America under His Eminence, Metropolitan Demetrius, who was among those present, along with former Metropolitan Bishop of America, Paul, Fr. Nifon Tsikrikis, and Isidoros Spanos.

St. Isidoros was born in Alexandria to pagan parents and was martyred in Chios in the year 251. He had been an officer in the Roman navy and confessed his Christianity. Unwilling to participate in the sacrifices to the Roman gods, he was tortured and eventually beheaded.

His body was then thrown into a gorge so that the Christians could not bury him. According to the legend, St. Isidoros’ martyrdom caused all the trees of southern Chios to shed tears, resulting in the famous mastic found on the island, but only in the south. A Christian woman, Myrope, found the body and with the help of two servants buried the saint. When the Roman authorities discovered the body had been buried, they demanded to know where and threatened further violence until the guilty party was found. Myrope confessed that she had buried the body, but would not reveal the location. She was tortured and martyred as well. The Christians of the island buried her near the spot where she had buried St. Isidore’s body.

A chapel, and then a church, was later built to honor the saint who is known as a protector of sailors. The Venetians took his remains to St. Mark’s Basilica in 1125. The wall sarcophagus is located in a chapel called the Cappella di Sant’Isidoro which can be visited today. The feast day of St. Isidoros is May 14.

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