St. Joachim “Papoulakis” of Ithaka was born in 1786 as John Patrikios to the devout parents, Angelos and Agnes Patrikios, in the little village of Kalyvia of Ithaka in Greece. At a very early age, his mother passed away and his father remarried. His stepmother would be moved in jealousy towards the young child and it was well known that she mistreated him. This forced him at an early age to learn patience and he learnt to spend many hours hiding from her; reading the Holy Scriptures and praying at a small church near his home dedicated to St. Spyridon.
He joined the family business and worked for his father as a sailor. One one of his trips, he visited Mount Athos, where he became a monk and stayed at the Monastery of Vatopaidi taking on the name of “Joachim”.
In 1827, the saint returned to Ithaka and served the church there for the remainder of his life. He peacefully fell asleep in the Lord in Vathi of Ithaka on March 2, 1868.
He was a model monastic, ascetic, hesychast, and shepherd of rational sheep, who like another St. Cosmas Aitolos distributed the Grace of God to many of the storm-tossed faithful. He was declared a Saint in 1998 (the 43rd Saint of the Monastery of Vatopedi), and he continues to work many miracles after death as he did in life.
Feast Days: March 2nd (the date of his repose) and May 23 (the date of the uncovering of his relics)