October 10, 2009

Prophecies of St. Joachim "Papoulakis" of Ithaca

...continued from Part 12.

Many prophecies of St. Joachim have been released and continue to be so. Today in Ithaka there is a new phrase circulating which says: "Papoulakis said..." or "Just as St. Papoulakis said...". His fame and sanctity have been fully and joyously accepted in his native land and he is widely regarded as a Prophet of our last days.

Listed below are a portion of these prophecies, some of which have taken place and some not. Those familiar with the prophecies of St. Kosmas Aitolos will notice a few similarites, most notably what seem to be prophecies describing the future telephone (2), airplane (8), television (20), and the restoration of Constantinople to the Greeks (13). However some of the prophecies are difficult to interpret today because we don't know the exact year they were given nor the exact context. St. Joachim lived between 1786-1868.

Below is a list of twenty-five prophecies with my brief commentary.

Prophecies of St. Joachim "Papoulakis" of Ithaka

1. He prophecied long before that King Otto would be banished from Greece.

King Otto was made the first modern king of Greece in 1832 under the Convention of London, whereby Greece became a new independent kingdom under the protection of the Great Powers (the United Kingdom, France and the Russian Empire).

Throughout his reign, Otto faced political challenges concerning Greece's financial weakness and the role of the government in the affairs of the church. The politics of Greece of this era was based on affiliations with the three Great Powers, and Otto’s ability to maintain the support of the powers was key to his remaining in power. To remain strong, Otto had to play the interests of each of the Great Powers’ Greek adherents against the others, while not aggravating the Great Powers. When Greece was blockaded by the Royal Navy in 1850 and again in 1853, to stop Greece from attacking the Ottoman Empire during the Crimean War, Otto’s standing amongst Greeks suffered. As a result, there was an assassination attempt on the Queen and finally, in 1862, Otto was deposed while in the countryside. He died in exile in Bavaria in 1867.

2. "The world shall be girded by a thread."

This is a word for word exact prophecy of St. Kosmas Aitolos (1714 - 1779). Elsewhere St. Kosmas prophecied: "A time will come when people will speak from one distant place to another, as though they were in adjoining rooms - for example, from Constantinople to Russia." The traditional interpretation for these prophecies are the telephone wires which have encircled the globe.

3. "You will see the fruits of the earth increase and you will rejoice. But suddenly they will be destroyed and you will be saddened for this."

Though vague as far as being able to tell when this is to happen, the important lesson of this prophecy is to teach the people not to trust in their prosperity.

4. "The Turks one day will go to the Kokkini Milia (Red Apple Tree)."

This again is a shorter version of the more expanded prophecy of St. Kosmas Aitolos, which says:

"The Turks will leave, but they shall return and will come as far as Hexamilia. In the end, they shall be driven away to Kokkini Milia. Of the Turks, one third will be killed, another third will be baptized, and the remaining third will go to Kokkina Milia."

Kokkini Milia was a region which the imagination of the enslaved Romaioi (Greeks) placed in the depths of Asia Minor and beyond, where also it was reputed to be the original home of the Turkish people. It is there that they hoped to push back their oppressors, i.e., where they originally came from. This was nearly done in the early 1920's, until the Greeks became surrounded by the Turks in Ankara and defeated. According to Elder Paisios the Athonite, who expanded much on this prophecy, this has yet to be fulfilled and could happen within our generation.

One popular legend of the Romaioi (Greeks) is that this will be done by the resurrected Emperor Constantine XI Palaeologos, who has been, according to the legend, encased in marble since May 29, 1453. There is even a popular song about this called "The Petrified King":

"I sent two birds to Kokkini Milia to tell the news. One bird got killed, the other got hurt, none of them returned. For the petrified king no cry, no yell. But he is sung to the kids like a fairy-tale by grandmother. I sent two birds to Kokkini Milia, two swallows, but they stayed there and they became a dream. After years of tears there they stayed...for the petrified king...."

These prophecies go back to prophecies of the later Roman Empire, such as those known as the so-called Oracles of Leo the Wise and Revelations of the Prophet Daniel. See Donal M. Nicol, The Immortal Emperor, p. 101.

5. "The klephts will leave the mountains and descend to the bazaars."

Klephts, which originally meant theives, were Greek bandits and warlike mountain folk who lived in the countryside when Greece was a part of the Ottoman Empire. Due to the development of Turkish-Greek relations in the War of Greek Independence, though the word still means literally "thieves", it assumed a positive meaning for Greeks of that era.

This prophecy could mean that the klephts, who committed their crimes of theivery in the mountains, would one day commit crimes of theivery in the market-place and bazaars.

6. "A time will come when Sodom and Gamorah will rise up, in which the young will say to the old: 'Be quiet so I can speak, get up so I can sit.'"

St. Joachim foresaw a time in the future in which there would be great disrespect of youth towards their elders and horrific selfishness. In many ways we see such things taking place within our own generation.

7. "You will kick money on the road and will not bend to get it."

This prophecy could refer to many things, such as people being too lazy or even too fearful. For example, St. Kosmas said: "People will end up naked because they will become lazy." Others may interpret this prophecy to predict a cashless society which some believe is a sign of the end times. But St. Kosmas refers to something else when he writes: "It is sad for me to say it to you: today, tomorrow we will endure thirst and great hunger such that we would give thousands of gold coins but still will not find a little bread." And the prophecy of St. Joachim sounds familiar with another prophecy of St. Kosmas: "If they find silver in the road, they will not bend down to take it. But for an ear of wheat, they will kill each other trying to take it first."

This prophecy may have been fulfilled during the time of World War 2 and the Greek Civil War which followed at which time thousands of Greeks perished due to starvation.

8. "Boats will be raised up into the air."

Though this prophecy could be interpreted literally, the language here speaks of "boats" as a traveling vessel. Thus St. Joachim here foresees a large traveling vessel that can hold many people traveling through the air. Of course, this can be nothing but aeroplanes.

St. Kosmas had a similar prophecy saying: "You will see men flying in the sky like starlings, and throwing fire on the earth. Those who will live then will run to graves and will cry out: 'Come out you who are dead so that we the living may enter.'"

9. "The war will begin in a small principality. It will end in Constantinople."

This seems to refer to the great war which is yet to come, when the Greeks will take back Constantinople.

10. "A time will come when an officer with a blonde beard from the Holy Mountain will ask for me."

This is similar to number 25 below, and may refer also to the finding of St. Joachim's relics. But it could also have referred to something within his own lifetime.

11. "You will go from here to Leuki in order to see a person."

St. Kosmas also writes: "After the war, a man will have to run half an hour to find another human being to join him in fellowship."

Leuki is a community in the island (and municipality) of Ithaka, Greece. Its population in 2001 was 56 inhabitants. A mountainous village at the edge of Niritou, it is 13 kilometers northwest away from Vathi.

12. "Those who will live after the war will eat with golden spoons."

St. Kosmas similary said: "Fortunate is he who will leave after the great war. He will eat with a silver spoon...". The war possibly refers to the future war when the Greeks take Constantinople. Nonetheless, prosperity will follow the war.

13. "Constantinople one day will be Greek with Constantine the six-fingered as king."

This refers to Emperor Constantine Paleologos, the last emperor of Byzantium, and the prophecy of his resurrection. But the six-fingered marble king is likely Ioannis Vatatzis, an emperor of Byzantium, who was six-fingered and was also known as "the great gracious". More about this can be read here.

14. "Flat land will fall upon thick forest and will eat it."

St. Kosmas also said: "People will be left poor because they will not have love for the trees."

Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia writes on this subject when he speaks of Elder Amphilochios Makris:

"My own sense of human responsibility towards nature was strikingly enhanced, some forty years ago, when I was a deacon at the Monastery of St John the Theologian on Patmos, and I came to know the spiritual father of the island, Archimandrite Amphilochios (Makris). He had a particular affection for trees. 'Do you know', he used to say, 'that God gave us one more commandment, which is not recorded in Scripture? It is the commandment: Love the Trees.' Whoever does not love trees, he was convinced, does not love Christ. 'When you plant a tree,' he told us, 'you plant hope, you plant peace, you plant love, and you will receive God's blessing.' Nor did his love of trees remain merely theoretical. When the local farmers came to him for confession, he used to give them as a penance (epitimion) the task of planting a tree. His influence has transformed the visible appearance of the island: hillsides which, a hundred years ago, were bare and barren are today thickly covered with pine and eucalytpus."

15. "From North Germany the Cross will shine."

This may refer to the suffering during World War 2 or even the sign of the Cross which will appear in the heavens before the second coming of Christ.

16. "Thiaki (Ithaka) will become a monastery as well as half of Kefallonia."

This seems to foretell a spiritual awakening on these two neighboring islands.

17. "Woe to the Eptanisa! You will shake like the leaves of a tree."

The Eptanisa are the seven islands in the Ionian Sea, otherwise known as the Ionian Islands. The group is made up of Kerkira, Paxoi, Lefkas Kefallonia, Ithaki, Zakinthos, Kithira, and numerous islets.

One interpretation of this could be how in 1815 the Ionian Islands, known as the "United States of the Ionian Islands," were placed under British protection. The British ceded the islands to Greece in 1864 after considerable popular agitation on the islands.

More likely however it refers to the tragic events which occurred between August 9-14 in 1953 when a series of devastating earthquakes hit the Ionian Islands. In Keffalonia alone, for example, 600 people died and the injured and homeless were in their thousands. As it was the middle of the day and people were cooking, fires also broke out and raged through the towns. 70% of all constructions were demolished; towns and villages were rebuilt to new plans, with strict anti-seismic specifications, so that there is now little risk of a ceiling tumbling. The tragedy brought wide international response and support, especially from the United States, Britain, France, Sweden and Norway, who sent aid for the victims with generosity and speed. At that time also, many desperate Kefallonians left their island to seek a better life abroad.

18. "People will live like the whiteflies."

This may refer to the fact that whiteflies cause massive destruction to crops and spread viruses.

19. "You will not reach out your hand to the fruit because it will be leperous."

I'm not sure if this referred to a specific person in the past or if it foretells the spread of future disease, though leperosy is controlable in our days.

20. "The soap boxes will speak."

This seems to foretell the invention of television. St. Kosmas makes a similar prophecy: "The time will come when the devil puts himself inside a box and starts shouting, and his horns will stick out from the roof-tiles." The horns in St. Kosmas' prophecy are interpreted to mean the antennas.

21. "A time will come for envy to be picked out from the wheat."

I'm unclear on the interpretation of this, and even the translation.

22. "Your grandchildren will live through a war."

By grandchildren St. Joachim probably foresees the 20th century and possibly the two World Wars, among the many others.

23. "In this place there will be built a large church" (in the village of Stavros).

Stavros is a village often visited by St. Joachim and where his relics lie today in the Church of St. Barbara. In the village’s principal square, the Church of St. Barbara stands like a sentinel.

24. "The yellow race will govern the world."

Typically the Asians are referred to as "the yellow race".

25. “A priest from the Holy Mountain, with a red beard, will take me up and be the first to bring me to the people.”

Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi, a biographer of St. Joachim, says of this prophecy: "This prophecy indeed came true in the person of the Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi!"

He explains:

"In 1991, the Abbot of Vatopaidi Monastery, Archimandrite Ephraim, and fathers of the Monastery went to Ithaki and, with the help of the inhabitants of the island, identified the place of the Saint’s grave. They arranged with the Metropolitan Bishop of the diocese for the translation of the Saint’s relics on May 23 of the following year, 1992. News of this forthcoming event soon became known to the people of Ithaki, as well as to the faithful throughout all of Greece.

"Abbot Ephraim, with two fathers from the Monastery, went to Ithaki on the appointed date. With the blessings of His All-Holiness Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch; with the assistance, solidarity and cooperation of Metropolitan Nikiphoros of Levkas and Ithaki; and with the ardent help of the officials and residents of the island, they were able to carry out the translation of the Saint’s relics."

To be continued...Part 14