St. David of Evia, the Elder icon
St. David of Evia, the Elder icon

St. David of Evia, the Elder icon

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Orthodox icon of Saint David the Elder of Evia.

Commemorated November 1.

Saint David was born between 1470 and 1480, in the village of Gardinitsa in the province of Locrida, Greece. When Saint David was fifteen years old, he left his village with the blessing of his parents and followed the hieromonk Akakios.The Patriarch not only blessed Elder Akakios, but also convened a Synod and ordained him Metropolitan of the Holy Diocese, of Nafpaktos and Arta. Akakios took Saint David with him to the Diocese, where he ordained him a priest. The Bishop and the lords of the area kindly requested, and finally persuaded, the Saint to become the hegumen of the Monastery of the Holy Mother of God in Varnakova.

As the Hegumen of Varnakova, he established the first Greek school, where very important learned priests from Mount Athos were teaching, as well as a "Secret School" in the Monastery, which was operating up to last century. Because of the inappropriate behavior of some monks, who despite his advice did not reform, Saint David decided, reluctantly, to leave the Monastery. The Lord led him to Mount Steiri, in the area of Domvou.

There he continued his ascetic struggle, accompanied by father Seraphim, who was also his spiritual child. He was accused by local people as the one responsible for the escape of some slaves of a Hagarene lord from Livadia. For this reason, they arrested Saint David, imprisoned him and tortured him brutally.Saint David suffered everything with patience. However, by the Providence of the Lord, some devout Christians appeared and paid the money to release the Saint. When the Saint was released, he thought that it would not be good to return to his monastery. After some time, which he spent wandering in that area, without being able to find an appropriate place to rest, he decided to go to the island opposite, Euboea.

 While he was on the coast of Atalanti, he saw a man with a boat and asked him kindly to take him to the island. The man saw the humble monk with the worn robe; he refused to transfer him and continued his work indifferently. Saint David, without being upset by the man's behavior, went some meters away, removed his worn robe, laid it on the water and after making the sign of the cross, stepped on his robe and started sailing quickly through the waves.With his robe he arrived at the village of Rovies.

When he stepped on the shore, he began climbing the green mountain, which rose behind the village.He found there the almost ruined chapel of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ our Savior, which he totally reconstructed, assisted by the local people.The holiness of Saint David was a powerful magnet attracting people who wanted to dedicate themselves to Jesus Christ. As a result, a small brotherhood quickly formed. Saint David decided to travel to faraway Russia to collect the money needed to build a new monastery. Saint David took some workers and monks and climbed the mountain. When they arrived at the place he had suggested for the new monastery, he got down on his knees and prayed to the Holy Mother.

As soon as he finished his prayer, he knocked with his staff at the root of a big tree. Forthwith, water came streaming out of it, flowing like a river to the foothills.As for the water that still flows powerfully today, in 1963, some fellow-countrymen of the Saint created a channel to bring it into the yard of the monastery. When Saint David became even older, he foresaw his death in a divine revelation. Then he called the fathers of the monastery and announced to them that in three days he would pass away. People with physical, psychic and spiritual diseases are freed from the burden of their ailments by leaning down to venerate his holy skull. They depart healed and they thank the Saint, praising God.

Reference: G.O.A.A.