St. Fanourios the Martyr and Miracle Worker

Today we celebrate the feastday of one of my favorite saints, St. Fanourios the Martyr and Miracle Worker.

St. Fanourios is one of the saints that we ask to intercede for us when we lose things. His name is from the Greek word fanerono which means I reveal. I can remember my mother teaching us to do this as children and I would actually get excited when things were lost. She would bake a traditional Fanouropita and I would bake my own version with my sister in our easy-bake oven.

There is not a whole lot known about his life. We know that he lived during Roman times and was in constant persecution because of his Christian beliefs. There is an icon that was discovered on the island of Rhodes during a period when the island was ruled by Turks.

The Turks decided to rebuild the walls of the city that had been destroyed during the war. They sent workers outside to collect rocks from the house ruins to help rebuild the wall. While doing this a beautiful church that was also destroyed was discovered and many icons were found inside. Most of them were destroyed to the point that you could not read the lettering on them. Amazingly, one stood out from all the others completely unharmed. It was an icon of a young man in a Roman soldier’s uniform. In his right hand he held a spear and in his left hand was a cross and a lit candle. Around he perimeter of the icon were twelve events of martyrdom that the Saint suffered, which revealed much of his life.

The Tradition of the Fanouropita

The tradition of baking a Fanouropita is a great honor bestowed upon the Saint. It is typically a small, round cake and is made whenever the saint reveals a lost object, a job, a cure or anything else the person has sought to find, is found.

There are many variations of this recipe but this is the one I have always used.

Fanouropita Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup & 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • grated peel of one lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • powdered sugar to dust the top

Directions:

  1. Mix flour and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  2. In another bowl, mix oil, sugar, orange juice, water and lemon peel.  Beat well.
  3. Add baking powder, salt, raisins and walnuts to the first bowl. Mix well.
  4. Add dry ingredients to Bowl 2.
  5. Grease and flour a baking pan.
  6. Pour batter into pan.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes @ 350 degrees.
  8. Cool completely.
  9. Dust with powdered sugar.

tip: If you let the cake sit a day before serving, it absorbs the flavors better.

*It is also a tradition for each person to say a prayer for St. Fanourios’ mother when eating their slice of the cake. The pita’s can also be brought to church to be blessed and shared among the people.

There is a beautiful icon of St. Fanourios located at the church of St. Syridon in Palos Heights, IL. St. Spyridon’s church also has a beautiful little book that contains the life and Paraklesis service to the saint. Call 708.385.0787 to order a copy. It is the only book I have been able to locate on St. Fanourios.

 

26 thoughts on “St. Fanourios the Martyr and Miracle Worker

  1. Elizabeth, the book is entirely in English. I think the only thing written in Greek is the troparion and it still has the English version as well.

    1. Hello , my name is Mary a resident of Melbourne/Australia. I grew up knowing about st Fanourios from my late beloved mother. I would be interesting to purchase his book. Can someone please assist me. Many thanks and God bless.

  2. Hi there, I stumbled upon your blog the other day and decided it is something I would like to follow. I was chrismated only this last Pascha so there are still many traditions and such that I still am becoming acquainted with. St. Fanourious and our celebrations of him are one of those! Can you share the prayer to him that we use for lost things? I am excited to one day try the recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Erin,Welcome to the flock! 🙂 As far as I know there is not a specific prayer you need to say when asking for his help. I usually just say something like, "Most holy St. Fanourios please help me find my keys, a job, peace in this turmoil, etc." Why wait to bake your Fanouropita? You can make one today! 😉

  4. Sylvia,I always find lost things when I ask this dear Saint for his intercessions! Just last week a friend of mine lost her hearing aide. She couldn't afford to replace it and had looked everywhere for it. I told her about St. Fanourios and she prayed. I got a call from her the next day… her husband found it!Thank you, St. Fanourios, for your prayers and intercessions!

  5. Stopping by to say I love your blog, I find it a true Orthodox womanhood inspiration.This post about Saint Fanourios made me happy, because I heart him too, he is such a wonderful comforter! May I say for me it is a real joy to discover brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world.Blessings!Cristina

  6. I remember hearing about this saint from my grandmother (yiayia) when I was a child…but I had forgotten his name. Thanks so much for the reminder!Ann

  7. My family has a tradition of praying to this saint when we need help finding things. It is awe inspiring that our prayers are answered. We light candles and pray for the soul of his mother. No one has told me why we pray for the soul of his mother, but we do it. Thank you for posting the recipe. I will make it on August 27th.

  8. Hello It’s dino I love this cake.
    We had a friend named after this saint
    Who died years ago in Campbell. Was so sad
    I will allways remember this saint. Thank you Sylvia.

    1. Aww, sorry to hear that, Dino. May his memory be eternal! Baking and offering a fanouropita is a great way to honor him! Hope all is well!!

  9. Thank you for the information about St. Fanourious. I too pray to him often – sometimes many times a day.
    Right now I am praying for him to help me find a use for a little Orthodox church in northern MN that may be closing. I am hoping to find some people who are need of a church building or site to begin a monastery or retreat center or something that is Orthodox so that the church can continue to glorify God.

  10. Hi I would like to know where I can buy ayiou fanouris book from is it in Greece or in Australia he always helps me when I lose something God bless his sole

  11. St. Fanourios is very dear to me, and I consider him my Patron Saint. I keep a small Icon of him in my wallet all the time.
    I have a couple questions about the cake you have posted. What size pan do you use for the cake? I’m not fond of raisins in baked goods so may I use extra walnuts and add clove spice to suffice for this?
    Thank you,
    Effie

  12. My son had spent one week completeing a major paper for his Masters of Education.
    The day before he was to submit he called me on the verge of tears-his paper had disappeared from the USB. After 1 hour of him frantically trying to retrieve it he had given up in despair. I had no idea how to assist him but my heart lept in prayer to St Fanourios. Within 30 seconds my son called to say he had managed to find his lost piece of work. Blessed be the Saint for i know in my heart it was his intercession that performed this speedy miracle

  13. Just making this version for the first time. When do you add the baking soda and salt? Sorry, I am a terrible baker and nee d very specific instructions 🙁 I am trying it as a test for Wednesday’s pre-sanctified Liturgy pot luck meal we have after and I do’t have a lot of vegan desserts up my sleeve.

  14. Thank to St. Phanarios I found my engagement ring! I take them off for work at the bakery and I had carelessly placed it in my coat pocket instead of in a zippered pouch of my purse. It must’ve come out when I took my keys out of my pocket and I did not realize it was missing until later that day, after I had gone several places. I was in a panic, as it was my grandmother’s who had passed away 9 months ago and it was about to be what would’ve been her 99th birthday, so she was definitely on my mind. I felt so foolish! Thanks to a friend who mentioned this saint, I prayed and prayed and at least it put me more at ease. We even sifted through flour/dirt dry vac refuse but to no avail. I decided to take one more hard look outside since the snow had melted and as soon as I turned around the ring was directly in front of my car in the mulch. Thanks be to God and thanks be to St. Phanarios! The St. Spyridon Hellenic Orthodox Church’s new # is 708-385-2311.

  15. Thank you for posting this. I will make this cake today for my husband because it is the saint’s feast day!.

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