Joachim of Vatopaidi
Our venerable father among the saints Joachim of Vatopaidi (also known as Papoulakos) or Joachim of Ithaka is remembered by the Church on March 23.
In 1786, St Joachim of Vatopaidi was born John Patrikios to devout parents, Angelos and Agnes Patrikios, in the little village of Kalyvia of Ithaka in Greece. At a very early age, his mother passed away and his father remarried. His stepmother would be moved in jealousy towards the young child and it was well known that she mistreated him. This forced him at an early age to learn patience and he learnt to spend many hours hiding from her; reading the Holy Scriptures and praying at a small church near his home dedicated to St. Spyridon.
He joined the family business and worked for his father as a sailor. One one of his trips, he visited Mount Athos, where he became a monk and stayed at the Monastery of Vatopaidi taking on the name of "Joachim".
In 1827, the saint returned to his hometown of Ithaka and served the church there for the remainder of his life. He peacefully fell asleep in the Lord in 1868.