Orthodox Church celebrates St. Spyridon, the saint of shoemakers and the expeller of plague


Sofia. On December 12, the Orthodox Church celebrates St Spyridon, Bishop of Trimythous, one of the great saints and miracle workers of the IVth century.

St. Spyridon was born on the island of Cyprus during the reign of Constantine the Great. He became a bishop in the city of Trimythous.

According to the legend, he cured Emperor Constan II from a serious illness and he became the title of the ”Keeper of the City” of Corfu for the miracle of expelling the plague from the island.

He took part in the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea (325), where he was instrumental in countering the theological arguments. St. Spyridon reportedly converted a pagan philosopher to Christianity by using a potsherd to illustrate how one single entity (a piece of pottery) could be composed of three unique entities (fire, water and clay); a metaphor for the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.

As soon as Spyridon finished speaking, the shard is said to have miraculously burst into flame, water dripped on the ground, and only dust remained in his hand (other accounts of this event say that it was a brick he held in his hand). As such he also became the saint of potters.

Given the fact that according to the legend Spyridon  was also a shoemaker, in Bulgaria he is celebrated also as the patron of craftsmen – shoemakers, brickmakers, potters, coppersmiths and more.