Commemorated on January 24
The Monk Dionysios
(XVI Century) was born into a family of poor parents in the village of Platina.
The infancy of the monk was marked by a sign: over his crib shone the Cross.
Fond of reading the Divine books and of prayer from the time of his youth,
Saint Dionysios upon the death of his parents decided to accept monasticism and
with this aim he set out for Holy Mount Athos. There he settled with a pious
elder, the priest Seraphim, and under his guidance he began to lead an ascetic
life, in particular keeping strict fast. Thus during Passion Week, having gone
off into the forest, he ate only chestnuts. Soon they ordained him to deacon,
and then to presbyter.
The lofty life of the
monk became known about, and many a monk began to come to him, to hear from him
words of edification. The monk also directed onto the path of salvation many a
lawless person, among which was a robber, wanting to rob the cell of the saint
and was moved by the kindly and wise discourse into profound penitence. The
brethren of the Philotheion monastery, having lost their hegumen, besought
Saint Dionysios to be their head. Among the brethren, however, insufficient
were found choosing him, and dissensions arose. Valuing most of all peace and
love, the Monk Dionysios put aside the calling of hegumen and withdrew to
Berroeia, and then to Mount Olympos. Here the zealous for monasticism began to
flock to him. Dionysios built cells for them and also a church and together
with them spent the time in fasting and prayer. Having attained the spiritual
heights, he worked many miracles. Many a time, through the prayers of the monk,
the Lord punished iniquitous people that oppressed the monks of Olympos or
broke the commandments of Christ, – and thus were destroyed by severe drought
and by hail the holdings of a Turk, who had expelled the monks and wrecked
their monastery; by cattle disease and by sickness also was punished an
herdsman, who had oppressed the monastery; a maiden from one of the villages
for her impudence was subjected to an assault of the devil. Yet they all,
likewise through the prayers of the saint, received healing and deliverance
from misfortune, having been led to penitence through the saint's lack of
The monk compiled a
rule for monastic life, himself giving example of monastic activity. On Olympos
he built a church, and later also a monastery in the name of the Prophet of
God, Elias (Elijah). He bequeathed to the brethren a final testament about
monastic life based on the Ustav (Monastic Rule) of the Holy Mountain of Athos.
The monk died in old
age, and was buried on Olympos, in the church portico of the monastery founded
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.