When we moved the village of Ronni at the beginning of summer 2013, the holy icon of Saint Cosmas of Aetolia (painted by an Athonite Father Joseph from the Skete of Saints Andrew the First-Called and Anthony the Great) found its new home in the old cabinet space, which was translated into a trapeza (i.e. refectory) and a church space. Later the trapeza moved to the bigger refectory and the cabinet space was used only as a church. The chapel was consecrated by the metropolitan of Helsinki, Ambrosius, during the Great Lent of 2014. (Pictures of the event and news in Finnish)
Who was Saint Cosmas of Aetolia, the Hieromartyr and Equal-to-the-Apostles?
St Cosmas (in the world Constantine), a hieromartyr of the Philotheou monastery on Mount Athos, was born in the year 1714. He went to the Holy Mountain to study at the Athonias Ecclesiastical Academy, ”Athoniada”, and stayed in the Garden of the Panagia to become a monk. After almost two decades of ascetic life in the Holy Monastery of Philotheou, Saint Cosmas received a blessing from his Igumen (i.e. Abbot) to go to the world to do missionary work. He wanted to help the Greeks, who were at the time struggling under the Turkish yoke. Saint Cosmas did missionary work among his people for another two decades before receiving the crown of martyrdom at the age of 65, in the year 1779.
Apolytikion of Saint Cosmas
"By teaching the Divine Faith,
thou hast richly adorned the Church
and become a zealous emulator of the Apostles;
for having been lifted up by the wings of divine love,
that hast spread far and wide the message of the Gospel.
O glorious Cosmas,
entreat Christ our God
that He grants us His great mercy."
Θείας πίστεως διδασκαλία,
κατεκόσμησας τὴν Ἐκκλησίαν,
ζηλωτὴς τῶν Ἀποστόλων γενόμενος
καὶ κατασπείρας τὰ θεία διδάγματα,
μαρτυρικῶς τὸν ἀγῶνα ἐτέλεσας.
Χριστὸν τὸν Θεὸν ἱκέτευε,
δωρήσασθαι ἡμῖν τὸ μέγα ἔλεος.
"Do not separate yourselves from Christ and from the Church."
Gerontas Ephraim of the Athonite Skete of Sts. Andrew the Apostle and Anthony the Great.
Father Joseph from the Skete of Saints Andrew the First-Called and Anthony the Great visited us in October 2015. He and our frescopainted Päivi Kristiina Loikala made together a fresco of Saint Cosmas, which was later fastened to the wall of the chapel.