Saint Nektarios, the patron saint of Aegina, was recognized as a saint in 1961, making him one of the most recently canonized saints in the Greek Orthodox church. A philosopher and writer, Saint Nektarios became widely known as a healer and was particularly sought out by persons suffering from heart disease and cancer. Having lost my own Yiayia (grandmother) Metos to cancer in 1996, visiting this monastery has always held special meaning for me.

Saint Nektarios is now considered a “walking saint,” meaning a saint who appears regularly to the faithful in dreams or visions, and continues to do so today. Until his death in 1920, Saint Nektarios lived in the Holy Trinity Monastery, which he established, and where many nuns continue to reside today. The monastery sits high on a hill, overlooking the more modern Saint Nektarios church at the base of that hill. The panoramic views from Holy Trinity Monastery stretch all the way to the sea.

Start your visit at the monastery, where you can explore the very room where Saint Nektarios once lived. As with most monasteries in Greece, you can buy icons, holy oil and other items at the nearby gift shops. In the monastery center are two small chapels, one where the remains and the relics of Saint Nektarios are kept, and the other is where his marble tomb rests. Put your ear on the tomb and listen closely to see if you hear blessings being uttered by the Saint. Some faithful claim to have heard blessings from the Saint. Others hear scratching. My cousin Chris described hearing a loud and unmistakable heartbeat when he pressed his ear to the tomb. Some—like me—do not hear anything apart from the voice inside their head pleading for even just a murmur.


image via Ionian Village

As you exit the monastery, weave the winding pathway that leads down to the church of Saint Nektarios. Vibrant and picturesque bougainvillea adorn your trek to this notable place of worship.

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