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July 21, 2010

Elder Iakovos Tsalikes and Patriarch Bartholomew

He avoided all material pleasures, seeking fervently instead spiritual joy. And God did provide him with it through holy experiences at night, but also through pilgrims. One of them was the then Metropolitan of Chalcedon and now Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. On February 10, 1989, he visited the monastery and served Divine Liturgy. The elder was particularly pleased and “prophesied” to him in certainty (when Patriarch Demetrios was still in good health): “You will become Patriarch! You will shepherd Christ’s Church. I pray that you visit St. David’s monastery as Patriarch.” The elder offered him an icon and gave him also a sprig of basil for Patriarch Demetrios with the request to “pray for our monastery.” Two years later, humble Demetrios slept, and the issue of a new Patriarch arose. In October 1991, the elder was informed by a visiting priest that the Turkish government was considering removing the names of the synodical metropolitans from the candidates list. The elder went down into the temple, prayed to St. David, and came back to the priest: “I prayed, Father, to St. David. ‘St. David’, I told him, ‘you have surely granted all my requests so far. Now, I don’t know how, but just go to Turkey, meddle up the Turks and their papers, and see that Fr. Bartholomew is elected Patriarch!'” When he later learned that Bartholomew was indeed elected Patriarch, he rose up shining in joy, made the sign of the cross, and repeated thrice: “Glory to you, O God!”

From The Garden of the Holy Spirit: Elder Iakovos of Evia, by Prof. Stylianos G. Papadopoulos, p.154.

"Eternal be his memory! May we all have his blessing. Glory to holy God, that He made us worthy to recognize this saintly personality of our Church."

- Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, letter to the Holy Monastery of Saint David dated February 14, 1994