Jul 14, 2021
St. Νikόdēmos the Hagiorite
Commemorated on July 14
Saint Νikόdēmos of the Holy Mountain was born on the Greek island of Naxos in the year 1748, and was named Nicholas at his Baptism. At the age of twenty-six, he arrived on Mount Athos and was tonsured at Dionysiou Monastery with the name Νikόdēmos.
As his first obedience, Father Νikόdēmos served as the monastery’s secretary. Two years after entering Dionysiou monastery, the Metropolitan of Corinth, Saint Makarios Notaras (April 17), arrived there, and assigned the young monk to edit the manuscript of the Philokalia, which he had found in 1777 at Vatopedi Monastery. Editing this book was the beginning of many years of literary activity for Saint Νikόdēmos. The young man soon moved to Pantokrator Skete, where he was under obedience to Elder Arsenios of the Peloponnesos, under whose guidance he studied Holy Scriptures and the writings of the Holy Fathers.
In 1783 Saint Νikόdēmos was tonsured into the Great Schema, and spent the next six years in complete silence. On his next visit to Mount Athos, Saint Makarios gave Νikόdēmos the obedience of editing of the writings of Saint Symeon the New Theologian. This meant giving up his silence and occupying himself once more with literary work. From that time until his death, he continued to devote himself to such endeavors.
Not long before his repose, Father Νikόdēmos, worn out by his literary work and ascetical struggles, went to live at the Skete of the iconographers Hieromonks Stephen and Neophytos Skourtaios, who were brothers by birth. He asked them to help with the publication of his works, because he was hindered by his infirmity. Saint Νikόdēmos reposed peacefully on July 14, 1809.
According to the testimony of his contemporaries, Venerable Νikόdēmos was a simple man, without malice, unassuming, and distinguished by his profound concentration. He possessed remarkable mental abilities: he knew the Holy Scriptures by heart, remembering even the chapter, verse and page, and he was able to recite long passages from the writings of the Holy Fathers from memory.
The literary work of Saint Νikόdēmos was multi-faceted. He wrote a preface to the Philokalia, and brief Lives of the ascetics. Among the Saint’s ascetical works, his edition of Lorenzo Scupoli’s book, Unseen Warfare, is well known, and has been translated into Russian, English, and other languages. A remarkable work of the ascetic was his Manual of Confession (Venice, 1794, 1804, etc.), summarized in his treatise, “Three Discourses on Repentance." His most edifying book, Christian Morality, was published in Venice in 1803.
The Saint also made great contributions by publishing liturgical books. Using materials from the manuscript collections of Mount Athos, he published sixty-two Canons to the Most Holy Theotokos under the title, New Theotokarion (Venice, 1796, 1849).
He also prepared a new edition of the the Pedalion or Rudder, comprised of the canons of the Holy Apostles, those of the Holy Ecumenical and Local Synods, and of the Holy Fathers.
Saint Νikόdēmos had a particular love for hagiography, as attested by his work, New Eklogion (Venice, 1803), and his posthumous book, The New Synaxarion in three volumes (Venice, 1819). He completed a Modern Greek translation of a book by Saint Theophylact, the Archbishop of Bulgaria: Saint Paul's Fourteen Epistles in three volumes. Saint Νikόdēmos also wrote An Interpretation of the Seven Catholic Epistles (also published at Venice in 1806 and 1819).
(Taken from www.oca.org)
May St. Nikodemos intercede for us all!