Pious Dyonisios from Zakynthos shelters the murderer of his brother

Born in 1547 on Zakynthos Island (Zante), from a noble and pious family, pious Dyonisios proved from his childhood a bright mind and much propensity for the contemplative life. To fight against the worldly matters, against the flesh and devil at the age of twenty one he renounced at what was dear to him and became a monk under the name of Daniel at the monastery from the Strofades Islands located a few miles south from Zakynthos.

Despite his youth he became very soon an example of virtue and obedience for the monachal rules even for the more experienced monks.

He excelled most of all by his love for his brothers and by his magnanimity. One day the murderer of his own brother, Constantine, chased by police and by the parents of the dead arrived at the monastery and asked pious Dyonisios for shelter without knowing him.

Finding out the reason of his run and who was the victim, the man of God controlled with all his might the human pain and the temptation to revenge that murder. Following the example of Christ, Who forgave His enemies, praying for those who persecuted Him, he went to the murderer with compassion and comforted him calling him to repentance and hid him in a distant cell.

When his chasers arrived at the monastery, they gave the terrible news to the pious man who pretended not to know anything and tried to calm down the fury of those men and their desire for revenge by words of peace.

Once they were away he took out the murderer, who was stunned by fright and amazement before this example of forgiveness which was beyond nature and then he freed him to work at the salvation of his soul, after he gave him food and money for his journey.

Excerpt from the Lives of the Saints.

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