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Agios Fanourios | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's bookToday, Greece is celebrating St. Fanourios’ Day. Because of a wordplay on the Saint’s name, whose name roughly translates into “Finder,” people pray to him when they need help with finding something.

Now, when I say “finding,” this can be interpreted either quite literally or rather creatively.

So, you may pray to him if you’ve misplaced your keys, have looked everywhere for them, and promise him to light a candle in his name if you find them (probably for this reason, he is usually depicted holding a candle).

However, you may also pray to St. Fanourios if you’re looking for guidance to any sort of problem, from feeling lost in your life, to wanting a better job, looking to find the right person for a romantic relationship, etc.

Indeed, until fairly recently, girls used to pray to St. Fanourios to show them whom they’d marry. And in Crete, anyone suspected of having stolen an animal used to be taken to a local monastery dedicated to the Saint, so that the Saint would show if they’re guilty or innocent (sadly, the monastery in question is no longer active).

Fanouropita

People also bake a kind of cake called “Fanouropita” (lit. “Fanourios-pie”) instead of offering a candle. This is usually reserved for problems deemed harder to solve. The cake is blessed by the parish priest, usually after Mass, and distributed to other churchgoers. It is commonly made with oil, raisins, cinnamon, and cloves.

Each August 27th, dozens of people bring their Fanouropites to church to be blessed, either as a thank-you to the Saint for his help during the year, or because they are asking for a solution to a problem.

Fanouropites | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book

The photo above is from our parish church (dedicated to Prophet Elijah). Father John is blessing the cakes – and there were many more behind me as I took this photo.

So, happy St. Fanourios Day! And if you’re looking for an answer to a problem, you now know what to do!