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Cosmas of Aetolia
Born 1714
Died August 24, 1779, Berat, Albania
Venerated in Eastern Orthodox Church
Feast August 24

Cosmas of Aetolia (sometimes Kosmas of Aetolia or Cosmas/Kosmas the Aetolian) (Greek: Κοσμάς Αιτωλός/Kosmas Aitolos) (1714 - 1779) was a monk in the Greek Orthodox Church and an important figure in the Greek Enlightenment.

He was born in the Greek village Mega Dendron in the region of Aetolia. He studied Greek and Theology before becoming a monk after a trip to Mount Athos where he also attended the local Theological Academy. Afterwards, he traveled through what would form the areas of both West Greece and Northern Greece urging Orthodox Christians to establish schools. Over sixteen years, he established more than 100 schools. He rejected the use of the Aromanian and Albanian languages and prompted the parents to teach their children Greek because it is the "language of the Church"[1].

"You too should study, my brethren; learn as much as you can. And if you fathers haven't, educate your children to learn Greek because our Church uses Greek. And if you don't learn Greek, my brethren, you can't understand what our Church confesses."

After the Greek revolution of 1770 in the Peloponnese (which was provoked by the Orlov brothers with the support of Catherine II of the Russian Empire), the Turkish rulers suspected him of being a Russian agent. As a result he was seized and executed on August 24, 1779 near the city of Berat, Albania.

At 1812, Ali Pasha, the Muslim Albanian ruler of Epirus, managed to built a monastery near the place of his execution, in which his remains were placed.

Cosmas was officially proclaimed Saint by the Orthodox Church of Constantinople on 20 April, 1961. The memory of isapostolos Cosmas of Aetolia is honoured on August 24, the date of his martyrdom.


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