Saint Neofidos

Saint Neofidos was born in Cyprus in a little village near Lefkara in 1134 to poor, God fearing parents. He was one of eight children. His parents did not have the money to buy books or pay for the teachers to e ducate their children. From an early age Neofidos worked in the vineyards.

At the age of seventeen he left home to become a monk and entered the monastery of John Chrysostom. Here he learnt how to read and look after the vineyards. He impressed his superior at the monastery  so much with his hard work, that he was allowed to work solely in the church. He followed all the church rituals and learnt all the psaltry by heart. He wanted to be an ascetic and longed to meet the ascetics of Asia Minor. With this in mind he left for Paphos,to find a ship to take him there.

In Paphos he was robbed of the money which would have paid for his ticket. He was therefore, forced to stay there. He went to Mellisovouno and there started to build his cavern. He split it in two. One part was made into a church dedicated to the Holy Cross, and the other part was for him to live in. In this part he also built his tomb. His cavern and the cell where he prayed are well known. He is known in Greek as Saint Neofidos the enclosed because of his ascetic life.

Ther he founded a monastery with ten monks. This number rose later. He wrote many books. He wrote the liturgy which was used in the monastery. It was painted with superb holy icons by the iconographer Theodoros Apsevdi.

Saint Neofidos also built another cavern further up the mountain for himself to escape and relax to. He escaped certain death when a rock fell on him as he was building this retreat. It landed on  his fingers and he hung from the cliff top waiting for certain death. He prayed to the Virgin Mary and the miracle happened. The other monks slowly pulled him up.

He died on 12 April 1219. He was buried in the tomb he built himself. His remains were only discovered in 1750. We celebrate his day on 24 January and on 28 September.We remember the day of his death on 24 January as his actual death occured during Lent. In September we celebrate the finding of his holy remains.

We celebrate her name day on 17th July .

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Last published: :4/5/03
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