Maximus the Greek

His real name was Michael Trivolis and he was born in Arta around 1470 A.D. The Trivolis were a family of intellectuals and at the age of 14 Michael was sent to Corfu in order to continue his education.

In 1492 he gets to Florence to go on with his studies under the guidance of the great Greek philologist of those times –Ioannis Laskaris. After a short stay at the Monastery of Saint Marco in Florence, Michael goes to the Monastery of Vatopaidi at Mount Athos.

As a simple monk he dedicates his time to studying the Christian writings in the rich library of the Monastery until 1515 when he goes to Moscow to translate the Holy Bible and the Books of the Holy Fathers from Greek into Russian.

In time he got acquainted with the most outstanding figures of the Russian intellectual elite, but at the same time he also made enemies.

In 1524 – 25 Maximus was arrested. He was forced to a “spectacular” trial where he was accused of heresy, witchcraft and plotting against the Emperor and sentenced to confinement in a monastery as a heretic.

It was only in 1548 that he was set free and took refuge in the Monastery of the Holy Trinity outside Moscow, today’s Zagorsk, where he lived till his last days in 1560.

In 1988 Maximos was officially declared a Saint by the Russian Church. In 1997 His Excellency the Bishop of Arta Ignatios the 4th was offered by the Patriarch of Moscow Alexios a piece of the Holy Remains of Saint Maximus. The inhabitants welcomed with great honours the relics of their beloved Saint, which are nowadays kept inside the Holy Church which is built as a homage to his name in the Trigono district of Arta.

Thus Maximus the Greek – “the Educator of the Russians”- returned to the city where he was born.