AGIOS RIGINOS. Agios Riginos (Saint Riginos) lived in the 4th c. AD. He was of Greek origin and with the aid of his parents he received the education of his time. At the same time, he desired to come close to Christ and live according to His will.
The reputation of his holiness reaches the island of Skopelos and the residents want and manage to make him bishop of the island and their spiritual guide.
As Bishop of Skopelos he participated in the Sardiki Synod and with more than 300 other bishops condemned the heresy of Arius. When emperor Julian the “offender” persecuted Christians, Agios Riginos was given the opportunity to fight for his faith and that of the people of Skopelos, giving the example of personal sacrifice and witness.
He was tortured to reject faith in Christ and in the end probably beheaded along with forty other unknown Skopelos people who were martyrs of the Orthodox religion, as Professor Nik. Georgaras mentions.
Agios Riginos Monastery
Outside the city, 4 km SW, is the church of Saint Riginos, patron saint of Skopelos. According to legend, it was built in 1728, probably on the remains of an older Byzantine monastery. The present church was built in 1960. In the monastery yard there is the sarcophagus of the saint, who was first bishop of the island and became a martyr in the 4th c. AD. There are cells in the SW corner of the monastery, while at a short distance there is a fountain.
The holy relic
The holy relic of Agios Riginos was transferred to Cyprus, from where after a year Hadji Konstantinos, a captain from Skopelos, brought it back with reverence, and it was kept initially in the monastery of St. John the Baptist on Skopelos. It was later transferred to the “Birth of Christ”, the city’s cathedral, where it is kept to date.
Next to the spot where the faithful islanders buried the holy relics of the bishop (4 km SW of the town on a small hill), they later built the monastery of the Saint. On February 25 every year, thousands of pilgrims gather at the monastery from the surrounding islands (Skiathos Alonissos), but also from Volos, to honor the Saint who has often shown his love for his flock with cures and other miracles that all the inhabitants of Skopelos tell.
It is worth visiting the island on February 24 and 25 to witness these worshiping events with litanies and the great procession of the holy relic from the monastery through the streets of Skopelos and to the church of the Birth of Christ.
-from Ad. Sampson’s book “Skopelos -Historical narration”