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Saint Nicetas

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How the foundation of a village in Northwest Lefkas (a Greek island) is connected with Byzantine Empire

How the foundation of a village in Northwest Lefkas (a Greek island) is connected with Byzantine Empire

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  • 1. Saint Nicetas The connection between the Byzantine city of Chalcedon of 8 th century and Greek island of Lefkas of 21 st century
  • 2. The quiz
    • In N.W. Lefkas, an island of western Greece, the village of “Aghios Nikitas” is, today, widely known as a good choice for summer vacations. At the edge of this village, close to the sea, there is a church in honor of saint Nicetas of Chalcedon, constructed during 19 th century.
    • Why the local people constructed a church for a saint who is totally unknown for Greek Orthodox Community?
    • This is a try of explanation.
  • 3. Chalcedon / Byzantine Empire 8 th century AD
    • Monk Nicetas is elected «archbishop of Chalcedon». He was an educated man, full of wealth and charity virtues action, who enjoyed great appreciation to the residents of the city.
  • 4. Constantinople / Byzantine Empire beginning of 9th century AD
    • The Byzantine emperor Leo (V) “the Armenian” is ordering that every religious icon of Jesus Christ, Holly Virgin and other holly people that exist in the churches of the hole empire, have to be destroyed.
  • 5. Chalcedon / Byzantine Empire beginning of 9th century AD
    • Metropolitan Nicetas refuses to obey to the emperor’s instructions and is arrested, together with some of his relatives and some of his supporters, by the army troops of the area. Soldiers put the old man to torture and he died after a short time in the jail
  • 6. Chalcedon / Byzantine Empire 9 th century AD
    • Supporters and friends of archbishop Nicetas are organizing meals and speeches in his honour, every year, on his death anniversary. His remains are kept and many people say that some miracles are related to them.
  • 7. Constantinople - Byzantine Empire 9 th century AD
    • Joseph the Hymnographer ( 816-886 A.D. ), is composing a hymn in honor of “saint Nicetas the bishop of Chalcedon” dedicated to the people who were shepherded by him. The fame of the new saint is spreading all over the Christian world, especially over the Slavonic nations who are newly converted.
  • 8. Chalcedon / Byzantine Empire 13 th century
    • The remains of saint Nicetas are still kept in the city and are subject of worship by many believers. In the local church books is referred as “martyr Nicetas” and his memory is celebrated on 28 th of May.
  • 9. Kadi - Keui / Ottoman Empire 14 th century
    • Chalcedon has fell to Ottomans’ hands and has been totally destructed. Even the stones of its buildings has been transferred to Istanbul for the construction of this city. The deserted area is renamed as “Kadi - Keui” in 15 th century. Nobody knows where the remains of saint Nicetas are. Possibly they had been transferred by refugees,100 km SE from Chalcedon to the city of Nicomedia, capital of Bithynia as the area was called.
  • 10. City of Venice / The Most Serene Republic of Venice 15 th century
    • According Marino Sanudo (1466-1536) a ship from Nicomedia / Bithynia, brought to Venice, the remains of “saint Nicetas the martyr”. This was reason for great confusion for the scholars, as the only saint with name Nicetas who was known by them, was Nicetas the “Great – Martyr, the Goth” who’s remains already were existing in the city.
  • 11. City of Venice / The Most Serene Republic of Venice 15 th century
    • The remains of saint Nicetas have been put in the church of “Anzolo Rafael” in the city and a new celebration day was added in the local church calendar: The day in honor of “saint Nicetas of Nicomedia”.It was the 12 th of September, probably because this was the day when the remains arrived at the city.
  • 12. Dalmatic coast The Most Serene Republic of Venice 17 th century
    • This area, which was controlled by the Venetian state, is inhabited by a significant ratio of Greek Orthodox people, (Slavs and Greeks) who came as refugees from occupied - by Turks -areas. Greek and Slavs have the same churches and monasteries and the same bishop who lives in Venice.
  • 13. Dalmatic coast The Most Serene Republic of Venice 17 th century
    • Saint Nicetas of Chalcedon was one of the favorite saints, for the Christians of Dalmatia, as Slav Christians had kept their interest for him, which is dated from 9 th century.
  • 14. Santa Maura The Most Serene Republic of Venice 18 th century
    • Shortly after the occupation of the island by Venice, Orthodox soldiers from Dalmatia, cooperating with the Venetians in the war against the Turks, camp by the western coast of the island in an uninhabited area and construct a church in honor of saint Nicetas of Chalcedon.
  • 15. Lefkas / The United States of the Ionian Islands» (English protection) – 19 th century
    • Around the old abandoned church of St. Nikita, people coming from other places, construct new houses and gradually make a new village. The new-comers adopt the unknown saint and gave his name to it. They construct a new larger church, replacing the old one.
  • 16. Lefkas/ Greece 20 th century Aghios Nikitas (Lefkas ) in the beginnings of 20th century
  • 17. The book
    • “ Aghios Nikitas” by Antonios Perdikaris
    • A. Stamoulis editions.
    • Thessaloniki/ Greece 2008

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