Eternal Memory: +Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis (1941-2024)

Eternal Memory: +Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis (1941-2024)

Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis

Orthodox Witness founder, Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis, reposed in the Lord on January 9, 2024 in Chania, Crete, Greece.

Born November 20, 1941 in Chania, Crete, Fr. Emmanuel was the son of Ioannis and Eleni (Fandaki) Hatzidakis. He graduated from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Theological School in 1989 with a Master’s of Divinity degree. He also held a Bachelor’s Degree in Classics from Oberlin College (1972) and did graduate level studies in Classics at the University of Chicago (1973). In 1965 he received a Licenza from the International Institute of St. Paul in Rome. Read the full story here.

Before his ordination, he worked as an insurance underwriter and agent. He was also Protopsalti at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in St. Louis, MO.

Fr. Emmanuel served as a priest of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America from 1988 to 2019. In 2019 he was received by ROCOR by Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) of blessed memory (+2022), and was with ROCOR until his repose.

Fr. Emmanuel was ordained to the priesthood by Metropolitan Iakovos (Krinis) of Chicago in 1988 and served in parishes in Huntington, WV; Rocky River, OH; Swansea, IL; Chicago, IL; Columbia, MO; and Clearwater, FL. He also served as a visiting priest in the diocese of Kythera, Greece, under Metropolitan Seraphim.

In 2001, Fr. Emmanuel founded Orthodox Witness, a ministry dedicated to Orthodox Evangelism that brought together dedicated individuals from parishes of different jurisdictions. Annual outreach seminars were hosted in the St. Louis Metropolitan area from 2002-2007.

He authored two books, The Heavenly Banquet: Understanding the Divine Liturgy and Jesus: Fallen? The Human Nature of Christ Examined from an Eastern Orthodox Perspective, and published three original Orthodox Christmas plays: Prophecies Announcing Christ, Daniel and the Three Holy Youths, and Christmas Eve. Other unpublished books, music, translations, and articles will, God willing, be forthcoming. Over 200 of Fr. Emmanuel’s articles have been published on “Over the Rooftops” since 2001.

Fr. Emmanuel was a pioneer in making English translations of Greek church hymns fit their original melodies. He rendered the Resurrectional Apolytikia and Theotokia, Apolytikia of Saints and Feasts, Prosomia, Evlogitaria, and more.

Fr. Emmanuel was gifted with a beautiful tenor singing voice, which he downplayed by saying that others have the higher, spiritual gifts. He enjoyed gathering others around him to sing. He enjoyed nature and photography. He had a dry sense of humor and enjoyed reading comics delivered to his inbox every morning.

Fr. Emmanuel is survived by his wife of 53 years, Barbara; three children, Joy-Eleni (Dimitris), Anthony and Christina; and three grandchildren, Nicolas, Eleonora and Alexandra; and two siblings, Ioannis (Markella) Hatzidakis and Olga (+Nick) Packis; he was preceded by an infant son, John; and brother, George (Katina) Petrakis.

His funeral took place on January 11th at St. John the Theologian cemetery church in Kotsiana, Crete, the village where he was born.

Fr. Emmanuel had moved back to Crete with his Presbytera and son about one year prior to his repose after living for over 50 years in the United States.

May our merciful Lord Jesus Christ forgive all of his sins, number his soul among the righteous, and rest it in the bosom of Abraham.

May his memory be eternal!!!

A tribute to his life is forthcoming.

10 thoughts on “Eternal Memory: +Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis (1941-2024)”

  1. May Father Emmanuel’s Memory be Eternal — and may St Iakovos of Evia, whose life he published, be his guide where he now resides.
    Thank you for letting us know of his falling asleep.
    Your friends from Logos Bookstore, in Oregon USA

  2. Τόν αγαπητό πατέρα Εμμανουήλ Χατζηδάκη τόν γνώρισα 15 χρόνια πίσω στο Clearwater Florida United States of America, ερχόμενος από το State of Illinois στά ζεστά κλίματα της Φλωριδας ως συνταξιούχος, ήταν Άνθρωπος γνήσιος Έλληνας ορθόδοξος Χριστιανός, γνώστης της Ορθοδοξίας μας, φίλος καλός και πνευματικός μου οδηγός, που με την καθοδήγηση του έγινα καλύτερος Άνθρωπος, δεν έκανε συμβιβασμούς ποτές του με τούς λύκους με ένδυμα προβάτου που λυμαίνονται μέσα στην ορθοδοξία μας, προπαντός τα τελευταία χρόνια,, και αυτό τό πλήρωσε με ανελέητο διωγμό από τα ίδια του τα εν Χριστώ αδέλφια του,,, αιωνία η μνήμη του, και το χώμα που τόν σκέπασε να είναι ελαφρό,,οι εχθροί του θα χάρηκαν,, αλλά και Ό Κύριος χαίρετε που ένας άξιος εργάτης Του θά τόν αναπαύσει κοντά Του ✝️ τά συλλυπητήριά μου στην οικογένειά του, στην αγαπητή πρεσβυτέρα Μπάρμπαρα, και στον αγαπητό γιο τους Αντώνιο, και στην υπόλοιπη οικογένειά του.
    George and Harriet Cheliotis

    [translation: I met dear Father Emmanuel Hatzidakis 15 years ago in Clearwater Florida, United States of America, coming from the State of Illinois in the warm climates of Florida as a retiree, he was a genuine Greek Orthodox Christian man, knowledgeable of our Orthodoxy, a good friend and my spiritual guide, who under his guidance made me a better man, not compromising at all with the wolves in sheep’s clothing who prey on our Orthodoxy, especially in recent years… and he paid for this with merciless persecution from his own brothers in Christ… eternal is his memory… and may the dust that covered him be light… his enemies will be glad… his enemies will be glad… but the Lord rejoice that a worthy worker of His will rest him close to Him. ✝ My condolences to his family, dear Presbytera Barbara, and their dear son Anthony, and the rest of his family. George and Harriet Cheliotis]

    • Reading this email brought tears to my eyes and broke my heart So much of my knowledge about the Orthodox Faith came from Fr. Emmanuel and the countless hours we spent on translation of hymns back in the 90’s. In addition, his sermons and books were so inspirational and enlightening.

      Near the top of my bucket list was to visit your family in Florida, and when I found out you had moved to Crete, I decided I would visit during my next trip to Greece. It saddens me to know I procrastinated a bit too long.

      My heart goes out to you- I know it’s never easy to lose a husband and father. It feels like the world is falling apart. But I pray that God will give you strength and comfort as you grieve. May his memory be eternal!

  3. May Father Emmanuel’s memory be eternal! We were both members of St Nicholas parish in St Louis, MO and fellow students at Holy Cross Seminary in Brookline, MA for two years. We also both left the ecumenical and innovative Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and joined Anti-ecumenical and Traditional Canonical Orthodox Churches. My condolences to his wife and family. May God give them strength and peace!

  4. Eternal be his memory! With Saints and righteous, Merciful Lord rest the soul of your servant, Fr. Emmanue.

  5. Τα συλλυπητήρια μας στην Πρεσβυτέρα Βαρβάρα και στα καλά σας παιδιά! Πάτερ Εμμανουήλ πρέσβευε υπέρ ημών ο καλος μας Θεός να σε ευλογεί για όλο τον κόπο σου Για να σώσεις και να εμπνέεις ψυχές
    με σεβασμό
    πΕυάγγελος

    μη μας ξεχάσεις Εδώ στην ξενιτιά

    [tr. Our condolences to Presbytera Barbara and your good children! Father Emmanuel, pray for us. Our good God bless you for all your efforts to save and inspire souls.
    with respect.
    pEvangelos

    Don’t forget us here in foreign lands.]

  6. Αιώνια σου η μνήμη αξιομακάριστε και αείμνειστε αδελφέ και συλείτουργε υμών.

    [May your memory be eternal, our ever-memorable brother and co-celebrant who are worthy of blessedness.]

  7. May Fr. Emmanuel’s Memory be Eternal.my condolences to Πρεσβύτερα Barbara and Father’s kids.He was excellent Priest and very loyal friend.i’m going to miss him dearly.

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