Philotheos (Zervakos) of Paros

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Philotheos Zervakos
Blessed Elder Archimandrite Philotheos Zervakos (1884-1980) is a 20th-century Greek Orthodox elder. Although he has not been glorified, some consider him a saint.


Blessed Elder Archimandrite Philotheos (Zervakos) was born in the small and remote village of Pakia in Sparti, Peloponesse, Greece, in the year 1884 and was given the name of Constantine at his baptism. From childhood he demonstrated an exceptional love for God.

In 1912, April 22, Father Philotheos was ordained to the priesthood by Metropolitan Gabriel of Trifilia and Olympia. In 1924, he made an extensive pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Egypt. This is all described in his book published in 1925, Great and Wondrous Pilgrimages to Palestine and Sinai.

In 1930, Elder Ierotheos reposed, and Fr. Philotheos succeeded him as abbot of Longovarda. By this stage, Fr. Philotheos had the reputation of a saint. In 1934, he made another pilgrimage, this time to Constantinople. He returned to Greece and founded the convent of Panagia Myrtidiotissa Thapsanon (The Virgin of the Myrtle Tree), 4 km from Lefkes on the island of Paros, Greece.

On the morning of May 8, 1980, the blessed Elder Philotheos died. His funeral was conducted by Archimandrite Dionysios of Simonopetra Monastery of Mt Athos. His relics were laid to rest at the convent in Paros, in a place that he chose beside the chapel dedicated to his spiritual mentor, St. Nectarios of Aegina (November 9).


From the Holy Monastery of Panagia Myrtidiotissa, Elder Philotheos wrote a well-known apologetic in 1976 addressed to Archimandrite Cyprian.[1] This letter (cf. External links) is considered of extreme historical importance in the Orthodox Church since it is written in defense of his spiritual father, St. Nectarios of Aegina.


  • St. Nectarios of Aegina, 1846-1920.
  • St. 'Papa' Nicholas (Planas) of Athens, 1851-1932. (March 2)
  • Blessed Papa Dimitri Gagastathis, 1902-1975.


  • The Blessed Elder Philotheos Zervakos by S. Kementzentzidis, trans. by Palis and Chalice, Thessaloniki: 1986.
  • Blessed Elder Philotheos Zervakos by C. Cavarnos, Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, Belmont, MA: 1993.


  1. The most reverend Cyprian, Dr. Theol., is the Metropolitan of Oropos and Fili and President of the Holy Synod in Resistance, Orthodox Church of Greece. He is the spiritual son of Elder Philotheos.

External links