St. Nectarius of Bitel

Saint Nectarius of Bitel was born in the small town of Bitel (or Butili) in Bulgaria. In the world he was named Nicholas. Before a Turkish invasion his mother had a vision: the Most Holy Virgin Herself appeared and told her to flee and go into hiding with her husband and children. Nicholas’s father, having taken the boy with him, withdrew to a monastery dedicated to the Holy Unmercenaries (Sts Cosmas and Damian), not far from Bitel, where he became a monk with the name Pachomius.

Nicholas, having reached adolescence, went on to Athos. The clairvoyant Elder Philotheus accepted him and tonsured him into the angelic schema with the name Nectarius. The monk suffered for a long time from the envy and spite of one of the novices, but he displayed complete humility. He was distinguished for his charity. Any money he obtained from his handicraft was distributed to the poor. Saint Nectarius died in the year 1500.