When and where did Saint Philaret live
Saint Philaret was born at the beginning of 700 AD. and lived during the reign of Constantine Porphyrogenitus (about 780 AD) and his mother, Irene of Attica.
He came from the village of Amnia or Amnea of Gangra (Paphlagonia) from pious parents, George and Anna. He and his wife Theosevo had three children, Ioannis, Hypatia and Evanthia.
Why was Saint Philaret named Merciful
Saint Philaret was characterized by acts of benevolence and charity. With the money he earned from his work as a farmer, he helped anyone in need. Thus, he received the name 'merciful'.
How Saint Philaret became an Eparch
On November 788 AD, Constantine, the son of Queen Irene, married Saint Philaret's granddaughter, named Mary. Thus, the Emperor, with the blessing of God, honored him with the office Eparch.
As a result, Saint Philaret the Merciful had the opportunity to help and support even more people who were in need.
The sleeping of Philaret: when did he die and when he celebrates
Shortly before Saint Philaret the Merciful rested in peace, he called his relatives and said:
'My children, do not forget hospitality; visit those who are sick or in prison, watch over widows and orphans; see to the burial of those who die in poverty; do not covet the goods of others; speak no ill of anyone, and do not be glad of misfortunes that befall your enemies; always do as you have seen me do in my life, so that God will keep you under His protection’.
"Lord, let Your will be done" were his last words just before he died.
Our Church honors the memory of Saint Philaret on December 1st.
Why did Saint Philaret become the Patron Saint of Beekeeping
Saint Philaret was an example of virtue and charity, who helped the poor with all he had. However, he once lost his estates to his neighbors who took advantage of his kindness. Then he continued his philanthropic activity using his bees.
He had only 250 hives left from which he harvested as much honey as possible to satisfy the hunger of the poor. With this act, he had no bees left to make good use of and thus he ended up even poorer.
For this admirable action, Saint Philaret is called the Patron Saint of Beekeeping.
From ancient times to nowdays, honey has been an integral part of both human nutrition and therapeutic methods. There are many types of it and all of them have priceless nutritional and energy value.
Many types of honey are produced on Mount Athos, some of which are not so well known in Greece. One of them is Chestnut honey.
Athonite Chestnut honey
Mount Athos Chestnut Honey is a special honey, which is produced in the protected (NATURA 2000) chestnut forests of Mount Athos. It stands out for its intense peppery taste and its excellent properties.
It emerges as a beneficial 'tonic'. Also, it has styptic, disinfectant, and healing properties, useful for the digestive and urinary systems, providing antimicrobial action in the intestine.
It is recommended for athletes, the elderly and those with prostate problems or prostatitis. It can also act as an astringent in cases of dysentery.
Erica Manipuliflora Honey of Mount Athos
Erica Manipuliflora honey is mainly produced in the Yovanitsa region and is collected during the months of September to November. Some years it may not be produced at all and so many prefer it in large quantities!
Erica Manipuliflora honey is particularly well-known in France, from which the well-known gingerbread is produced. It is honey of excellent nutritional value and is particularly tonic for the human body.
Pine Honey of Mount Athos
In the forests of Kapsala and Giovanitsa on Mount Athos, the excellent Athonite pine honey is produced and collected every year in spring and autumn.
It is not particularly sweet compared to blossom honey. It has a high content of potassium and sodium and has very strong antimicrobial properties. It also helps to treat inflammation, cough and gout.
Fir Honey of Mount Athos
A unique honey with high nutritional value and mild sweet taste is fir honey. This honey stands out for its special aroma, thick liquid texture, and rare amber color.
The holy fathers of Mount Athos produce fir honey using the honeycomb centrifugation method and do not interfere with any heat treatment at all. Thus, fir honey is rich in beneficial properties and keeps all its trace elements unchanged.
Fir honey has a high content of phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium, while at the same time it acts as an antiseptic in the respiratory system and treats bad breath.
Due to the low content of natural sugars, fir honey is almost never sweetened.
Oak Honey of Mount Athos
In the protected (NATURA 2000) forests we also find stands of oak trees. Its production may not be achieved every year due to climate and particular conditions.
Oak honey is dark in color with a special and not sweet taste. It has many antioxidant properties and a high content of potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.
It contributes to the well-being of the gastrointestinal system, treats the symptoms of flu and fatigue and acts against hemorrhoids.
Arbutus Honey of Mount Athos
Another honey found in the protected (NATURA 2000) forests of the Athonite peninsula is the Arbutus honey produced from the honeydew of the strawberry tree.
Its taste is bitter and gives the sensation of baked caramel. It is an excellent source of trace elements, vitamins and natural antibiotic substances that make it a natural health ally.
Blossom Honey of Mount Athos
Blossom honey is produced in the small plains in the north side of Mount Athos from the nectar of flowers. It is the sweetest honey and its taste is mild.
It contributes to the good functioning of digestion and the proper development of children. It also provides energy and endurance and regulates the functioning of the intestinal system and liver.
Ivy Honey of Mount Athos
Ivy honey is produced in the area, where the holy cells of Vatopedi Monastery are located and is collected with admixture from the honeydew of oak trees. For this reason, it is darker in color and its fluidity is good.
Its sweetness is moderate and depending on the weather conditions it can show a slight bitterness in its taste. Furthermore, it has high content of enzymes, vitamins, trace elements and anti-oxidants.