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Question 308

Why was I was told off for making a Fanouropitta by a church person? Is it because they see it as more a myth/old wives tale?   

 

Answer to Question 308

 

I don’t know why you were told off by a “church person” whatever that means. The only authority on such matters is the priest and whatever other “church persons” say should not be accepted as the teaching of the church. 

 

In truth we don’t 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 saint’s 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.

 

Same member

Τhankyou for all the information pater. I was told off by the kandilanafti of my local church. He  asked me "who told u you have to make a cake and makarisi his mother?" He told me to go outside and give the cake to anyone. He was rude but I didn't take it further.

 

Reply

It is true that there is no evidence to even suggest that St. Phanourious' mother needs to be forgiven for unethical sins, but as you took the cake to church and the church has a prayer for blessing the cake then the priest should have blessed it. It is not the kandilanaftis place to decide what to do with the cake unless he was given orders by the priest. He could have told you in a polite way, but that is too much to ask from some Greeks or rather should I say "church people". Maybe the kandilanaftis was having a bad day and took it out on you