July 15, 2009

Elder Daniel Gouvalis Passes On To The Heavenly Jerusalem

Elder Daniel Gouvalis (+ July 11, 2009)

Relatively unknown in the West, Elder Daniel Gouvalis passed away on July 11, 2009 and his sad yet joyful funeral took place July 12. He was a holy man who possessed many spiritual gifts, and considered by many of his spiritual children to be a saint. He was especially well known in Malakasas, a small suburb of Athens, and was known as the Elder of Malakasas serving as a priest and spiritual confessor there. His first meeting with holiness was in the person of the Russian Elder Tryphon, who was also spiritual father of Elder Paisios the Athonite (who it should be noted passed away on July 12, 1994), when he visited Mount Athos in his youth, and in his latter days was among the closest disciples of Elder Porphyrios in Athens. A man of deep theological education Elder Daniel cultivated every virtue and enlightened many in a humble and reverential manner in the ways of Orthodox faith and piety. He wrote many books and was on the Synodal Committee for Heresies for the Church of Greece in which he helped many involved in cults to turn back to Orthodoxy. His most famous work is the highly romanticized and inspiring book called Η ΑΝΩ ΙΕΡΟΥΣΑΛΗΜ (The Jerusalem Above) in which he expressed his longing to enter Paradise and be with his protectress St. Paraskevi, his Elder Tryphon, his patron saint Daniel the Prophet, the Apostle Paul and St. John the Theologian. He was especially known for his charitable nature, and in imitation of the Saints kept nothing of his possessions or money for himself but instead distributed it to those in need. He passed away quietly and in peace, just as he lived his life, being given the heavenly gift to know when his life was to end. The Elder was buried at the convent founded by his spiritual father Elder Porphyrios (where he also is buried) in Milesi next to Malakasas.

Below are two videos from his funeral on July 12. May his memory be eternal and keep us in his prayers!