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The Most Holy Theotokos and Saint John Koukouzelis

Once, when John Koukouzelis was chanting during an all-night vigil, as soon as he completed the “Axion Esti”, he was stunned to see the Most Holy Theotokos in front of him, who thanked him as she put a gold coin in his hand, because he chanted the hymn devoutly and with humility.

Saint John Koukouzelis and the Goats

John Koukouzelis was born in Dyrrachium, probably during the twelfth century. His father died while he was still a child, and his devout mother placed him in school to learn to read and write and to chant. It so happened that he was noticed during a search for talented students and accepted into the school of the imperial court in Constantinople. Here he attracted the attention of the Emperor Comnenos and his court because of his exceptionally fine voice, comely appearance and native talent.