St. Neophytos Day in Cyprus (24/01)

Nine kilometers from Paphos is one of the most beautiful, large and most visited monasteries in Cyprus — Monastery of St. Neophytos. This saint was a native of the famous mountain village of Levkar, famous throughout the world for the art of lace-making and the manufacture of jewelry, as well as household items made of silver.

From a young age, Neophytus decided that he would serve God and began to prepare himself for the acceptance of monasticism. Neophytus's parents saw him as a procreator and wanted to marry him, but the young man was adamant in his decision and, as a result, left home. He went to the mountain monastery of St. John Chrysostom and took a tonsure.

Neophytos cultivated vineyards, loved to spend time in solitude, reading prayers and theological works. He succeeded so much in this that he managed to memorize the Psalter. Neophytos began to ask experienced elders to let him go to prepare a place for complete solitude, but was refused. The elders dissuaded the young monk from this act, guided by those considerations that he would not be able to cope with all the temptations and temptations that would overtake him.

Neophytos decides to visit the Holy Places in Jerusalem and try to find peace in one of the deserts. But not finding one, he returned to his homeland and tried to sail on a ship to the monastery settlement, to Asia Minor, but this failed. The fate of Neophytou gave the opportunity to find solitude in Cyprus itself.

The Cypriots have a legend that Neophytus broke through a small hole in the roof of the first church he built and listened to beautiful monastery singing. This was the only « entertainment » hermit.

He went to the Lord at a venerable age, he was over 80. Nobody knows the exact date of his death. Cypriots sacredly honor Neophytos, coming to his cave and asking him for help in a variety of everyday situations. On January 24, a solemn procession is made to the cave of St. Neophytos. It is memorable that this day for the memory of Neophytos was established by the saint himself, even during his lifetime, when he miraculously survived the construction of a new cave called « New Zion ».

Service in a small cave temple is performed once a year. Cypriots also glorify Neophytos on September 28, the day when his holy relics were miraculously acquired.