Saints of the Day – Nikon Metanoite

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(also known as Nicon)

Born in Pontus (now in Armenia); died in Peloponnesus, Greece, in 998. Nikon received his surname from the Greek ‘metanoia’ (change of heart) because penance was always the theme of his preaching. In his youth, he secretly ran away from his wealthy family to an Armenian monastery called Khrysopetro (Stone of God), where he engaged in austere penance and humble prayer for 12 years. The purity of his love of God when he spoke about virtue caused his superiors to send him out into the world to preach the Word of God as a missionary, first in Armenia and later on the Saracen-held island of Crete for 20 years, then in Greece.

In imitation of Saint John the Baptist, Saint Nikon began every sermon with a call to conversion and the necessity for sincere repentance and penance. He taught that earnest prayer, mortification, alms, and holy meditation are needed to allow the resolution of conversion to take root in the heart. The sweetness with which Nikon recommended the most severe maxims of the Gospel, made our faith appear amiable to the Islamics themselves. The words he preached were confirmed by many miracles (Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson, Husenbeth).

MLA Citation

  • Katherine I Rabenstein. Saints of the Day, 1998. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 August 2020. Web. 25 November 2020. <>