Cosmas of Aetolia

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Icon of St. Kosmas Aitolos (1714-1779)
St. Kosmas Aitolos (also known as Cosmas Aitolos) was born in 1714 in Aitolia, Greece, to a father who was a weaver and a devout mother. He attended public schools, but was tutored by an archdeacon. He taught and then attended a school on Mt. Athos. He became a monk and later a priest at Philotheou Monastery there. After a time, he felt a calling to do missionary work in Greece, especially in the remote areas where there was a lack of churches and priests for the many unbaptized adults. As an aftermath of four centuries of Turkish oppression in Greece, Kosmas received the patriarchal blessing to travel wherever needed, for however long, with complete independence, to breath life back into Christianity in Greece. Kosmas sojourned to Greece, its islands, and Albania for 25 years, founding over 200 schools, as well as charities and rural churches. He planted crosses wherever he went. The Muslims tried him on charges of conspiracy and sentenced him to hang in August 1779 in Albania. However, one account reports that he prayed and gave up his spirit before this could occur. St. Kosmas received from God the gift of prophecy, and was known to have prophesied of the telephone, airplanes, and aerial bombings. Patriarch Athenagoras canonized him in 1961. His feast day is celebrated on August 24.

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