the patron saint of Corfu

In 1456, only three years after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks, a monk managed, through long struggle and adventure, to carry from Constantinople to Corfu the holy relics of St Spyridon. The arrival and safe-keeping of the holy relics on the island provided new vigor to the faith of Orthodox Christian inhabitants.

In the next few centuries faith in the saint grew so strongly and rapid¬ly that when Corfiots would mention “the Saint”, they meant (and still say and mean) St Spyridon; they also started christening their children after the Saint, so that nowadays Spyros (for males) and Spyridoula (for females) are the most common names among local people. The presence of the Saint’s Holy Relic in Corfu Town has been connected with four instances of de¬liverance of the island from imminent catastrophes. The Saint’s miracles are commemorated in processions of His Holy Relic in its silver reliquary through the Old Town, while the faithful fill the streets and pavements in droves. Processions are attended by the entire local clergy, who precede the Holy Relic, and by the local philharmonic bands.

Public prayer during the procession on the deliverance of Corfu