Saint Riginos is the patron saint of Skopelos Island, celebrated every year on the 25th of February. To honor the Saint, the island citizens had initially built a monastery in 1728, on the hill where he was buried, and then it was reconstructed in 1960, maintaining the same shape up until nowadays. The Monastery of Saint Riginos is located about 4 km southwest of Skopelos Town (Chora).
Saint Riginos: His life
Saint Riginos was born in Livadeia City (about 130 km NW of Athens), in the beginning of the 4th century A.D. His parents were devoted Christians so they sowed the seed of their faith in little Riginos’ heart, too. He took his first education in Livadeia City and afterwards, he got involved in sciences of his era: Philosophy, Rhetoric and Theology. God enabled the Saint to realize miracles, since when he was young, while he was still in his birth place.
In the 4th century, the orthodox faith in Skopelos was unsettled. Therefore, the bishop Achillios decided to send Riginos to Skopelos so as to contribute to the stabilization of the Orthodox faith. Indeed, the Saint there developed a significant philanthropic action and raised the inhabitants of the island from the heresy darkness. For his piety and virtuous life, he was ordained deacon and then presbyter. When the bishop of Skopelos passed away, Riginos received the rank of bishop.
During 331-363, the peace within the Church began being disturbed, with fierce persecutions against Christians starting to take place. Among the first to be arrested was Saint Riginos. The commander of Skopelos tried, along with promises and threats, to persuade the Saint to renounce his faith. Eventually, on the 25th February 362, Saint Riginos was led to the commander for one last time. After confessing his faith in Christ once again, he was tortured and finally beheaded, along with 40 other Christians. That night, the Christians buried the Saint’s body on a nearby hill, where his tomb still stands nowadays.
Saint Riginos: Celebrations in Skopelos
After his martyrdom, bishop Riginos was declared Saint of the Orthodox Church and was recognized as the patron Saint of Skopelos. It is worth visiting Skopelos on the 24th and 25th February. On the eve, the Saint’s holy relic is carried from the monastery, through the streets of Skopelos Town (Ghora), to the church of the Nativity of Christ. The inhabitants attend the vigil with high reverence while many overnight in the cells of the Monastery. On the day of 25th February, after the Divine Liturgy, they distribute lokums (local sweet delights) to celebrate.
Many faithful Christians visit Skopelos Town (Chora) and attend the festivities in honor of the patron saint of the island, Saint Riginos.
Rigas Hotel Skopelos is open all year round! We are looking forward to hosting you in beautiful Skopelos.