St Phanourios (Phanurios), newly revealed, of Rhodes.

About prayers to the Saint and for his mother

Bread Recipes

Apolytikion (Troparion) and Kontakion

Icon of St Phanourios, from Holy Transfiguration Monastery, BostonOn Aug 27th, according to the Greek Synaxarion, we remember the Holy Martyr Phanourios. He appeared to people on the island of Rhodes in 1500. Several people had a vision of the saint and then his icon was discovered. The icon depicted a young soldier holding a sword in one hand and a lit candle in the other.

There is a tradition concerning him and his mother, who was a harlot and great sinner. His love for his mother caused him to pray for her incessantly. At the time of his martyric death by stoning, he could not even then forget his mother, and with the boldness that is peculiar to athletes of Christ, prayed: "For the sake of these my sufferings, Lord, help all those who will pray to Thee for the salvation of Phanourios' sinful mother".

Many to this day pray for his mother, and have her listed in their personal diptychs used for commemorations in the Divine Liturgy as "The Mother of St Phanourios" since her name is not known.

On the day of the Saint, there is a tradition that the faithful bake a special bread, and according to some accounts, give it to the poor as alms in the name of his mother, and others, share it with at least seven other people.

St Phanourios' name gives a hint about another tradition concerinign the Saint. "Phanourios" comes from the Greek word, "phanerono", meaning "I reveal". He is know to help people find lost things. Some have therefore also referred to him as "Saint lost and found"!

This is not just an idle story repeated without basis, as the editor of this piece has experienced incidents himself, and know many people who have also been helped by St Phanourios to find lost items. After the lost item is found, one should bake a Phanouropita, (basically a loaf of sweet bread) in memory of St. Phanourios' mother, and give to the poor, as above.

If the bread is first brought to church to be blessed, A Litya blessing service with a prayer specially composed for the Saint may be used.

Apolytikion (Troparion). Tone 4.

A heavenly song of praise is chanted radiantly upon the earth; the company of Angels now joyfully celebrateth an earthly festival, and from on high with hymns they praise thy contests, and from below the Church doth proclaim the Heavenly glory which thou hast found by thy labors and struggles, O glorious Phanourios.

Glory Both now.

Kontakion. Tone 3.

Thou didst save the Priests from an ungodly captivity, and didst break their bonds by Divine power, O godly-minded one; thou didst bravely shame the audacity of the tyrants, and didst gladden the orders of the Angels, O Great Martyr. Wherefore, we honor thee, O divine warrior, glorious Phanourios.

The following recipes are supplied by the kindness of Matushka Anna Lardas, who posted them to a mailing list some time ago.

The fasting bread (with oil for those days that a a little less strict) actually tastes very good, and whose preparation makes an excellent father-daughter "special time" that the whole family benefits from. In other words, the recipe is quite easy and forgiving, and kitchens can always be cleaned.

Easy St. Phanourios Bread

Fasting (with oil)

Preheat oven to 350.

  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 1 cup oil
  3. 2 cups orange juice
  4. 3/4 cup raisins
  5. 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  6. 1 tsp. baking soda
  7. 4 cups flour

Mix oil and sugar, and beat until it's a creamy yellow. This may take a long time.

Put the baking soda IN the orange juice, and stir until dissolved. [NB: this can be spectacularly dramatic if you use a two cup measuring cup with two cups of o.j. in it. (Please don't ask how I found out.) It might be easier to hold a two cup measuring cup OVER the bowl full of oil and sugar and pour in *one* cup of o.j., mix in 1/2 tsp. baking soda, watch the fireworks, pour it into the bowl, and again mix *one* cup of o.j. with 1/2 tsp. baking soda, stir and pour again. If you don't dissolve the baking soda completely, you get lumps of it in the cake. So, stir well.]

Add the flour, then the raisins and nuts.

Pour the batter into an ungreased 9"x13" pan and bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes (or until a clean toothpick dipped in the cake emerges clean.)

I use a bundt pan instead of one 9" x 13", and my kids prefer this with chocolate chips in the place of the raisins and nuts. It doesn't really need a frosting, but if you wanted to drizzle a stiff glaze made out of, say, powdered sugar and lemon juice and a little water over it, that would be okay, too.

If you wanted to put spices in the batter, I'd go with a tiny amount (1/4 tsp. or less) of ground cloves.

Modified from a recipe in Greek Traditions and Customs in America, by Marilyn Rouvelas

Fancy St. Phanourios Bread (Phanouropita)

Not even close to fasting!

This recipe originally came from a cookbook for a Greek parish in Chicago, but I've tampered with it, mostly by editorializing.

Doubles well; the recipe given is for one loaf pan worth, but Doubled it makes a bundt pan's worth.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, combine:

  1. 1 cup orange juice
  2. 1/2 cup brandy
  3. 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 cups golden raisins
  6. 3/4 cup sugar
  7. 1/2 cup honey
  8. 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for exactly ten minutes -- any longer, and you'll have a good caramelized smelling door stop instead of a cake.

Set pot in cold water to cool mixture completely.

Sift into cooled syrup:

  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.

Beat vigorously for eight to ten minutes (Takes muscles! We use a wooden spoon for this) or until batter is smooth and bubbly.

Stir in: 2 Tablespoons grated orange peel

Turn into well greased 7" fluted pan or 8" loaf pan.

Sprinkle with 1/2 sesame seeds (optional; skip if you like).

Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Sprinkle with 1/4 cup brandy and cool cake in pan.

Bring to church to have blessed, and then share with parishioners or the poor.

Smells amazingly wonderful while cooking.


Fasting Phanouropita recipe:

Fancy Phanouropita recipe:

Fr. Demetri Tsigas, , "Parents and Children", sent to the orthodox-sermons mailing list, Sun, 27 Aug 2000. See

Also Available:

Litya Service to St Phanourios

A Longer Life of St Phanourios

Recipe for Kolyva - Boiled wheat with sugar, fruit and/or nuts

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