Dionysius, the island’s patron saint is honored annually in August with a festive litany of his sacred relics through the town’s streets. The saint, whose secular name was Gradenigo Siguro, came from the island’s nobility but decided to become a monk at the age of 20 and eventually found himself on the Episcopal seat of Zakynthos. However, disputes within the church forced him to step down and return to monastic life.
St Dionysius is also called “Τhe Saint of Forgiveness” because he forgave the murderer of his own brother and helped him escape when he sought asylum in his monastery; the killer never knew that his savior was related to his victim. The Saint’s body was buried at the Monastery of St George on the island of Strofades, a few nautical miles south of Zakynthos, and was found intact when it was exhumed three years later and moved to the church dedicated to him on the town waterfront.