February 11, 2011

Elder Porphyrios' Esteem For Elders Iakovos of Evia and Paisios the Athonite

In an excerpt from a lecture delivered at this link concerning the Blessed Elder Iakovos of Evia, Bishop Neophytos of Morfou speaks of a meeting he had with Elder Porphyrios in Athens before he had met Elder Iakovos in Evia.

Bishop Neophytos, when he was younger and a student, had just finished his first year of law school, yet was unsatisfied with it. He decided to visit the famed Elder Porphyrios in Athens to get his advice. Elder Porphyrios however encouraged him to go see Elder Iakovos, with whom he would have more in common. The bishop had heard of Elder Iakovos as the man who would communicate with the saint of his monastery (Righteous David). Then Elder Porphyrios told him that Elder Iakovos is the humblest man in all of Greece. He then spoke of how he and Elder Paisios the Athonite share similar fame among the people, whom he called a man of God on Mount Athos. However, he said that Elder Iakovos was very private and very humble. Elder Porphyrios went on to tell him how his special gift is to heal people and drive demons out of the possessed. The reason Elder Porphyrios wanted the young student to see Elder Iakovos is because the young student wanted people to understand him, and since he was orphaned as a child Elder Iakovos would be able to be more paternal to his situation since he also was orphaned.

What amazed Bishop Neophytos was how Elder Porphyrios looked deeply inside his soul to see what he truly needed. This is the great value of our contemporary spiritual guides - their sensitivity not only to our spiritual needs, but also psychological.

To listen to the entire lecture of the bishop's experiences with Elder Iakovos (in Greek), visit here.