March 10, 2010

The "Trash" of Papa-Fotis

For forty years now Papa-Fotis from Mytiline gathers stones wherever he is and wherever he stands - broken and cut up floor tiles, roof tiles, marble, and bricks - which are thrown out from buildings, enclosures and stores. Later he goes to Pamphyla. He has completed a church which he built by himself with these remnants. It is a true masterpiece. It is as if it fell out of the heavens and is untouched by human hands.

He wanders around barefoot both winter and summer with a ripped rason. After a vigil in a church in Thessaloniki, a certain priest mistakenly took his ripped rason leaving on his seat his own which was new and made all of silk. When Papa-Fotis realized this he began to cry like a little child because the new one was too warm and he wanted his own which was lighter.

When after forty years of labor he completed the Church of Saint Luke, the first Liturgy was celebrated. Many people were there. A little before going out for the Small Entrance he realized he had forgotten to leave an opening for the left door of the Beautiful Gate to go through. Immediately he went and took the pickaxe and began to tear down the wall. The people went outside coughing because of the dust, and in danger of the stones launching out at them. But he, quietly, when his work was completed, continued doing the Liturgy in a correct manner....

I don't know if Papa-Fotis lives today. When I came to know him about five years ago he was already near ninety. May he be well wherever he is...I thank God that I responded to him on the road. May we have his prayers.

From the unpublished book "My Soul".


See also:

Papa-Fotis the "Fool For Christ" Has Reposed

Interview With Papa-Foti Lavriotis