The Life of St. Meletios from Rhodes – Founder of the Monastery of Ypseni
Saint Meletios was born in the village of Lardos, Rhodes, during the difficult time of Turkish Occupation. At baptism he received the name, Emmanuel. He travelled through life with little worldy learning, but held a wealth of grace, virtue, purity, innocence and great love for God.
St. Meletios was a man of prayer.
He discovered the deserted places about Lardos, while shepherding his father’s sheep, and calming his soul with prayer and zeal for the monastic life.
On one of his excusrsions he had a vision which showed the icon of the Virgin Ypseni at the root of a certain tree. Following this vision, and led by the grace of the Virgin, he decided to follow the monastic life and dedicate himself to God. So, he built a Church in the place where he found the icon, dedicated to the Dormition of the Mother of God. The Metropolitan ordained him a Priest-Monk and made him Abbot of the Monastery.
He lived a strict ascetic life… In the evenings he escaped to a cave near the monastery and prayed and during the daytime he heard confessions of the Christian faithful, giving them strength to keep their faith throughout those difficult times. God also gave him the gift of healing and he cured sick and spiritually troubled souls.
He was slandered by the Turks and a price put on his head because of his work amongst the Greek Orthodox faithful. In the end, the Saint proved his innocence before the Metropolitan and then gave his last breath.
He was honoured as a saint by the Christians of the island and his relics, which continually gave off a sweet smelling fragrance, were shared out to various places. A piece of the Holy Relics is kept in the Holy Monastery of Ypseni as a priceless treasure and source of healing and blessing for all those who venerate them with devotion.
Since St. Meletios his day of actual repose is not known his feast is celebrated together with that of his namesake St. Meletios, Bishop of Great Antioch on the 12th February.
Short video showing the monastery, relics of the monastery’s founder, St. Meletios of Lardos, while singing hymns to the saint.
Originally published on the Ypseni Website