Saint David of Evia

David was born into a devout family in the small village of  Gardinitza across of Evia around the year 1485 AD.  His father was a pious priest and he guided David properly in the faith as a young child. When he was very young, no more than 3 years of age, St. John the Baptist came to him and took him to a church nearby to the boy’s home name after the saint. David then was found there standing before the icon of St. John the Baptist barefoot. He stood this way for 6 days. He continued to grow in the faith and gave great focus to God.  Under the guidance of his pious parents until he reached the age of 15. At this time, he left is home and sought out a spiritual father to guide him further. Hieromonk Akakios was well known among the local villages, as he was a powerful speaker who lead a devout life.

After a time of guidance under Akakios, David was then tonsured as a monastic in the monastery where Akakios was the Geronda. David behaved with great piety and humility. He was obedient and learned the art of ceaseless prayer.

Geronda Akakios desired to go to a monastery more devoted to spiritual life, and David accompanied him. They went together to Ossa where David was ordained a deacon. After they continued their journey to Mount Athos. They stayed at the Saint Athanasius monastery in order to grow spiritually. David then stayed behind while Akakios traveled to Constantinople.

Akakios was then made Metropolitan of Arta and Nafpaktos and he sought out David to aid him in his duties.

Leaving the Holy Mountain he went to the city where he was surrounded again with the lifestyle of the world. David remained steadfast in his practices and continued to pray with all night vigils, ceaseless prayer and many prostrations. He was entirely obedient to his Geronda Akakios and from his growth he was made the Geronda of the Monastery of the Panagia around 532 AD. He stayed at the Geronda for about twelve years, but the monks there were not pious and governed among their own self-will. With David’s strict and proper spiritual guidance, they were uncooperative and did not respond well to his style.

To avoid conflict, David left the monastery and looked for a peaceful place he could reside in solitude. He found a spot on the Mountain Steiri nearby to Parnassos. During this time he struggled greatly with many temptations, but he was persistent and devout.

Although untrue, he was charged by the Turks for fostering a runaway slave. They imprisoned him and tormented him for a large period of time. Through God’s grace, a Christian in the area discovered what had occurred, and paid his ransom freeing him from the tortures. He traveled once more seeking a new area to live as a hermit. He had an immense kindness and love toward all those he came across, and he helped in any way he could to those in need. He then came to  Evia where he helped to rebuild a church “The Holy Transfiguration” as it was in need of construction. After a brief time, a group came and followed him with passion to learn of the faith and the ceaseless prayer.

His compassion was ever present, especially in regard to the poor, who he had a deep affection toward.

With time he raised enough funds to build a new monastery in honor of the Holy Transfiguration. Many came to follow under his guidance, as he was beloved in Evia. Regardless of who was in need, David gave openly and share the monastery’s items with both Muslims and Christians.

He was gifted with foresight and was able to know of his own death. Before departing, he spoke to all of his disciples and guided them with his last words.

Right before he reposed, Christ appeared before him and he shared this with those who were around him. He then gave his soul peacefully unto the Lord.

At the site where he was buried, many miracles occurred.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

With the rivers of your tears, you have made the barren desert fertile. Through sighs of sorrow from deep within you, your labors have borne fruit a hundred-fold. By your miracles you have become a light, shining upon the world. O David, our Holy Father, pray to Christ our God, to save our souls.