Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Saint Raphael Orthodox Church, Tripoli

Saint Raphael Orthodox Church is a small Church located in the Peloponnesian city of Tripoli. St Raphael is celebrated together with St Nicholas and St Irene, who were martyred after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans. Little is known about their lives. We first find information about them in 1959, after an excavation took place on the Greek island of Lesvos.

St Rapahel was born in Milous, Ithaka, in 1410 AD. After being in the Byzantine army, he followed the monastic life, after being inspired by a monk John, who showed him the Christian Life. After becoming a monk, he became a priest and an archimandrite. He was also sent by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to France to preach, whilst also preaching in Athens. Before the fall of Constantinople, he was in Macedonia (Northern Greece) as a simple monk. After the fall of The City he moved to Mytilene, where he became abbot in the Monastery of the Birth of the Virgin Mary.

After the fall of Lesvos to the Turks, Saint Raphael, together with his followers, underwent a series of tortures and was finally slaughtered. The Saint was martyred in 1463. His memory, together with Saint Nicholas and St Irene, is celebrated on the Tuesday after Easter. 

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