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GREEK NEWS

Saint Yakinthos: Crete’s Own Patron Saint of Love

saint yakinthos saint hyacinth The body of Saint Yakinthos, the Saint of love, is revered in a Catholic church in Bavaria. Credit: Richard Huber/ Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY-SA 3.0

February 14th is the globally-celebrated day of Saint Valentine, internationally known as the day of lovers. Millions of stores around the world are lavishly decorated in red and vast quantities of roses, chocolates and stuffed animals are sold and consumed, often at high prices.

However, few people know that the Greek island of Crete has its own saint associated with love, Saint Yakinthos, also known as St. Hyacinth, the patron saint of pure and noble sentiments, as well as creation and inspiration.

The commemoration of his life, however, unlike that of St. Valentine, who was also a martyr, has nothing to do with romantic love, or “eros.” His memory concerns his total love for Christ, as evidenced by this young man’s sacrifice of his life for his beliefs.

Saint Yakinthos of Anogeia’s feast day is celebrated every year on July 3rd, in the mountainous region of Anogeia in Rethemno.

The “Yakintheia,” as the martyr’s feast is called, celebrated every summer, is the core of a series of cultural events which last for three days and have grown in popularity both inside and outside the country.

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