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Question 178

Hello could you please explain the importance of fanouropitta and why we make it? 

 

Answer to Question 178

 

In truth we donít know anything about the life of St. Phanourios. His icon was discovered in 1500 among the ruins of an ancient church in Rhodes with scenes from his life along the edges of the icon. A tradition grew that he is named Phanourios because he reveals things. Really it was just a play with his name, but it has become the custom to pray to the saint to reveal lost or misplaced items, or to reveal matters of the heart. He is then honoured by the faithful through a symbolic cake, called the "Phanouropita".

Although it is not a Holy Tradition, it has been welcomed and adopted formerly into the church with a prayer to bless the cake.  A story about the saintís mother also arose with the tradition that she was a fornicator and people express the phrase "May God grant rest to the soul of Saint Phanourios' mother." The Church does not formally hold this position since there is no evidence from what we know of the saint's life to confirm whether his mother indeed was a fornicator. Despite the Church having made this statement on many occasions, the common people within the Church will still express the phrase.