For Mind and Heart: St. Nektarios as Teacher
St Nektarios of Pentapolis (1846-1920) was both a careful student of the art of teaching and a tireless teacher. The present work aims to present and analyze his labors with the sphere of education as well as furnish translations of his core writings on the topic. By these means he is shown a strong proponent of the view that education is properly understood as formation of the whole person, rather than the simple imparting of information.
FROM THE PROLOGUE: It is often observed that St. Nektarios’ well-earned reputation as a wonderworker has largely overshadowed his other feats and accomplishments, as well as the other gifts he has bestowed upon the Church. Numbered among these oft-forgotten contributions is the bequest he has made to the sphere of education, a bequest under-girded by a rare, insurmountable desire to both learn and teach. From the time the Saint could read the 50th Psalm, he began repeating and emphasizing the line, I shall teach transgressors Thy ways, and the ungodly shall turn back unto Thee. From the time his little hands could manage, be began sewing together little booklets in order to disseminate God’s words. From the time he could clamor, he would ascend the stool in his mother’s kitchen and preach the homily he had heard that morning in church for the benefit of any who might hear. These youthful expressions of that desire to teach are interpreted by the Saint’s modern encomiasts as foreshadowing the significant educational work which would occupy a central, albeit oft-overlooked, place in his life and spiritual legacy.