The Holy Martyr Nektarios Agiannanitis († 1922)

2 September 2020

He was born at Vourla of Smyrna in Asia Minor. First he lived as a monk at the Cell dedicated to Christ’s Birth at the Skete of St Anne. Then he stayed at the Cell of the Archangels, where he looked after Elder Antony and his fellow brother Chrysanthos until the end of their days. He was standing up so much that his feet became rotten. Then he was invited to live with Elder Azaria (+1947) at St John’s the Forerunner Cell. He was also a very good hagiographer. He painted the miraculous icon of St Erine Chrysovalantou at Lykobrysi in Attiki.

Fr Chrysanthos (+ 1981) wrote: ‘Nektarios was so compassionate that he would have given the walls of his cell if he could to the hermits and his fellow brothers who were living under the Turkish occupation. This was only known to blessed Elder Azarias. One day while digging in the garden he told me:’ Do you know what Elder Nektarios is doing? After the vespers, he leaves and gives whatever he has to the hermits’.

Elder Nektarios along with another elder from St Anne visited their birthplace at Vourla. However, at Smyrna the Turks had rounded up many priests and monks into a stream, ready for slaughtering.  While waiting to die they all became scared. Elder Nektarios was trying to console them: ‘Brothers, we have abandoned the world from a young age for the sake of Jesus. Why are we scared now that His mercy has decided to give us a martyr’s end? Let us confess our trespasses so that the fear of death abandons us’. A deacon, who was the only one to survive, gave an account of this event to father Chrysanthos who added:

‘See what compassion does? Because Elder Nektarios held compassion to a high esteem, this daughter of God, helped him to defy death even and become a martyr for Christ’.

According to some accounts he was killed outside Aivali.

Source: Hieromartyr Chrysanthos Agiannanitis: ‘Reminiscences and stories’. Molos Lokridos 2008.

Copied from: Μοναχού Μωυσέως Αγιορείτου, Μέγα Γεροντικό εναρέτων Αγιορειτών του εικοστού αιώνος, Τόμος Α’ 1901-1955, Εκδόσεις Μυγδονία, Σεπτέμβριος 2011