Saint Spyridon

The Saint of the Corfiots and patron saint of the island, the wonder worker Saint who saved the island of Faiakon many times with his miracles from disaster and starvation, to whom thousands of believers turn to until today seeking comfort and help, Saint Spyridon never set foot on the island.

He was born into a poor family in Trymithounda of Cyprus, close to Salamina in 270 A.C. Although he was a simple and illiterate Shepard he distinguished himself for his faith in God, his humbleness and his charity. He had a daughter called Eirini from his marriage. When he became a widower he turned completely to God and became a clergyman. The reputation he gained was so big that when the bishop of Trymithounda died the believers announced him bishop.

Even then Spyridon did not distinguish himself from the rest of the poor people, who consisted his flock. He wore the same simple clothes as he did before, the same cap that was made of leafs of pine trees while his life was also poor as he kept sharing his belongings with the poor. He would walk everywhere, occupy himself with agricultural work and continued to be a good Shepard looking after his flock. His reputation grew more when with his miracles he helped people who turned to him seeking his help.


Spyridon as the bishop of Trymithounda took place in the A' Ecumenical Synod of Nice in 314 AC, convened by the emperor Kontsantinos, in order for the Fathers of the church to decide about the theories of Areiou.

Areios an educated Father from Alexandria, considered Christ a building of God and rejected his three persons nature. Spyridon already well known for his preaching, although illiterate, managed to oppose to Areios theories and prove the true nature of God, the consubstantial of the Holy Trinity, with the miracle with the roof tile.

After comparing the Holy Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – with the roof tile and its three components that unite it – fire, water and earth – he held a roof tile in his hand and immediately fire was created. After he ran towards earth water and in the end the only thing left in his hand was earth. After this miracle Areios was embarrassed and he apologized.

Spyridon died old on the 12th of December 358AC at the age of 88 and was nominated by our church as a Saint.


When the Saracen arrived on the island of Cyprus the believers opened the grave of Saint Spyridon, in order to transfer the relic to Constantinople with the purpose of saving the relic from the hands of the unfaithful. In surprise they realized that the relic of the Saint was maintained intact while the grave smelt of basil.

The holy relic was transferred to the Vasileuousa where it remained until 1456. Then three years after the fall of Constantinople by the Ottomans, a priest of Corfiot origin, Father George Kaloheretis, hid the relic of Saint Spyridon as well as that of Saint Theodora the Augusta in a basket and after covering them with grass he took them to Constantinople.

Crossing Thrace, Macedonia and the Greek continent in big danger he reached Corfu. The holy relics that were initially placed in the temple of Saint Athanasiou, were inherited by the three sons of Kaloheretis, Markos, Loukas and Filippos. Markos share, the relic of Saint Theodora the Augusta was donated in 1483 to the Corfiots. The heirs of the relic of Saint Spyridon tried to transfer the holy relic outside of Corfu but they met the vigorous resistance of the Corfiots and they abandoned their plan. Finally they transferred their rights to Asimina the daughter of Filippos. The relic eventually passed into the ownership of the Voulgari family as Asiminas dowry when she got married to Stamatello Voulgari in 1520. Since then and for four centuries until 1925 it belonged to the family. Initially and until 1528 the relic was transferred to the Cathedral temple of the Brigadier Michail in Kampielo. In 1528 Stamatellos Voulgaris transferred it to the temple that the family built in honor of the Saint on the Suburbs of Sarokko (Saint Rokko). However in 1537, during the first siege of Corfu by the Turks the relic was transferred for safety to the temple of Saint Anargyron at the Old Fortress and returned after the cease of the siege. In 1577 the demolition of the temple was decided in order to extend the walls. The relic was transferred temporarily again to the temple of Saint Nikolas of the Foreigners in Garitsa until 1589 when todays temple opened its doors, the completion of which took place approximately in 1594 and it remains there until today.

In 1967 the holy temple of Saint Spyridon in Corfu was recognized officially as as same N.P. [D]. [D] with a Presidential Decree, under the name “Holy Adoration of Saint Spyridonos Corfu”.

The temple of Saint Spyridon