St. Bessarion II of Larissa was born in Porta Panagia in about 1490 and became a monk, living the life of poverty, chastity, obedience, and stability in all humility. He was ordained in 1516 to the deaconate at Trikala, where the Bishop of Larissa lived at that time because of troubles in his own city.
St. Bessarion was consecrated as the Bishop of Elassona in 1517 when he was just 27 years old because of his piety and virtuous life. The people of that city didn’t like him, so his unpopularity caused him to return to Trikala. After four more years, St. Bessarion was made the ruling Bishop of Stagona. In 1527, he was finally made the Metropolitan of Larissa, the capital of the Thessaly Prefecture in north-central Greece. St. Bessarion built several monasteries, including the fortress-like Monastery of St. Bessarion, just north of Larissa, in 1522, the Monastery of the Saviour, and the Monastery of Dusika (The Holy Spirit). He also built bridges and helped the poor, besides reconstructing and reforming other monasteries. He died peacefully in 1540. St. Bessarion is known for his intercession against the plague.