August 20, 2020

St Phanourios

- Denise Obregon -

To commemorate St. Phanourios, Philoptochos would like to encourage everyone to share a story of yours or a family member, where a prayer to St. Phanourios led to finding something that was lost.

Philoptochos traditionally passes a tray to support the Metropolis' outreach to prevent our children from becoming 'lost' to the church. 

To give, please click here and choose 'Pass the Tray' and in the memo section, note 'lost'. Or, you may send in a check of course! Made to Philoptochos. 
to share your story. (Or email:

St. Phanourios

On Aug 27th, according to the Greek Synaxarion, we remember the Holy Martyr Phanourios. We know nothing for certain about the background of Saint Phanourius, nor exactly when he lived. He is greatly venerated on Rhodes and Crete. In the year 1500, St. Phanourios appeared to people on the island of Rhodes, where he manifested miracles of healing. There, an old icon of him was found, in which Phanourios is portrayed as a young soldier, holding a cross in his right hand, and a lighted taper in his left. St. Phanourios is greatly venerated in Egypt. In Egypt, there exists a tradition that his mother was a grievous sinner whom even he, her son, was unable to correct. Even so, his filial love for his mother was extraordinarily great. He prayed more for his mother’s salvation than for his own. When pagans stoned him to death for the sake of Christ, St. Phanourios prayed to God: “For the sake of my sufferings for Thee, Lord, help all of those who pray to Thee for the salvation of Phanourios’s sinful mother.” In Egypt, many Christians pray thus: “Save, O Lord, the mother of St. Phanourios, and help me, a sinner.” Many receive help through these prayers.

Here's a recipe to make your own Phanouropita



1 cup olive oil (or sunflower or canola oil)

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup brandy

2 teaspoons cinnamon (ground)

1/4 teaspoon cloves (ground)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup walnuts (ground)

1/2 cup raisins (dusted in flour, so they will not fall to bottom of pan)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease and flour a 9-inch round or square cake pan, or line the bottom with lightly greased parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and the sugar until well combined.

Add the orange juice, brandy, cinnamon, cloves, and baking powder and mix well.

Using a spatula, incorporate the flour in batches into the bowl, continually scraping the sides of the bowl, and mix until just combined. Stir in the ground walnuts and raisins.

Transfer the batter to the cake pan, pressing it out to the edges and smoothing the top with the spatula.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the cake turns golden and a toothpick inserted at a few different points comes out clean.

Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Variations

Try a lemon or orange liqueur in place of the brandy.

Swap dried cranberries or currants for the raisins.

Opt for almonds, pecans, or pine nuts instead of walnuts.

Add a sprinkling of sesame seeds to the top before you bake it or a dusting of confectioners’ sugar after it cools. Mix up the spices with any combination of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom that you like.

If you prefer to stick with the tradition of seven (or nine) ingredients representing the seven (or sometimes nine) sacred mysteries of the Church, you can use all cinnamon and eliminate the raisins and ground walnuts.

Prayer to St. Phanourios while preparing your bread:

A heavenly song of praise is brightly sung on the earth; the hosts of the Angels keep an earthly festival now in splendor and radiant joy; from on high, they praise with hymns the suff’rings and struggles; and below, the Church does laud the heavenly glory you founded by your contests and pains, O glorious Phanourios.

Denise serves as the Administrative Assistant at Holy Trinity + Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Birmingham, Alabama.

307 19th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35233 | Fr. Gregory Edwards, Dean | 205.716.3080

Photography Credits: Beth Hontzas - Music: Presbytera Katerina Makiej


Denise serves as the Administrative Assistant at Holy Trinity + Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Birmingham, Alabama.