Saint Dennis of Zakynthos Forgives and Rescues His Own Brother’s Murderer

St. Dennis of Zakynthos

There was at one time, as confirmed by the records of the Republic of Venice, a deadly enmity between the Mondinos family and the family of St. Dennis, the Sigouros. The efforts of the saint to effect reconciliation between the two families had been in vain. Things had reached a point where murders had been committed and the population was divided into two factions.

Furthermore, the hatred between the two families eventually led to St. Dennis’ brother, Constantine, being murdered. Fearing his victim’s relatives, the murderer (who was a complete stranger to St. Dennis), by chance or by God’s will, sought refuge in the monastery where St. Dennis was the abbot. When the saint asked the fugitive why he was so frightened, he confessed his sin and revealed the name of the man he had murdered, asking to be protected from the family’s vengeance. St. Dennis wept for his only brother, as was natural. Then he comforted the murderer and hid him, showing him great compassion and love.

Soon the saint’s relatives came to the monastery with a group of armed men and told him what had happened. He pretended to know nothing about it. After weeping with them and trying to console them, he sent them off in the wrong direction. Then he told the murderer that he was the brother of the man he had killed. He admonished him as a father, and brought him to repentance. After forgiving him, St. Dennis brought him down to the shore and helped him to escape to another place in order to save his life.

* This story contains excerpts from both Fishes & Loaves & Orthodox Church in America

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  1. Pingback: The Forgiveness & Compassion of St. Dennis of Zakynthos « Milk & Honey