The memory of Saint Dennis is celebrated on December 17th, the day of
his death, and on August 24th, the day his body was transferred to
Zakynthos town and laid in the church. Both celebrations are important
days for the island with parades through the town of many Orthodox
Priests and worshipers.
Saint Dennis' Church is one of just a few churches that survived the
earthquake of 1953, having been recently been built in 1925.
Saint Dennis, as he is known in English, is the Patron Saint of the
island of Zakynthos. He was born in Zante in 1546 into the Venetian
ruling class – but all reports suggest that from an early age his
character was very kind and he refused all of the advantages of his
After the death of his parents, at the age of 20 years old, Saint Dennis
donated his fortune to his brother and became a monk in the monastery of
Strofades, in the south of the island of Zakynthos.
In 1577, Saint Dennis left Zante to become the Archbishop on Aegina
island. Two years later health problems forced him to resign and return
to his homeland, where he stayed as an abbot in the monastery of the
One rainy night, a desperate man came to the monastery and asked for
help. This man had just committed a murder. Saint Dennis discovered that
this man had killed his own brother. Despite his personal sorrow, the
monk provided a shelter to the murderer and even helped him to escape
the island, saving his life in order to prevent another crime taking
place. Local tradition suggests that the murderer later returned and
became a monk in that same monastery.
The monk died in 1622, at the age of 75 and was buried in the church of
Agios Georgios in the Strofades, where he was ordained a priest.
Three years later, when he was exhumed, his body was found intact and
remains intact still today. The Saint’s body is displayed in the church
of Saint Dennis in Zante Town, where many pilgrims come every year to