August 22, 2013

The Truth About the "Lucky Bread" of Elder Paisios

By Ioannis Lotsios

Did Elder Paisios have a recipe for "lucky bread"? Some are arguing that not only did he create it, but they have it.

But what is the truth about this "lucky bread" of the Athonite Monk?

It is commonplace for some religionists who are possessed by a series of superstitions to intermingle them with patristic teachings, and thus "distort" big names of the Church. This is particularly true of the names of contemporary elders. The most "burdened" of such "distortions" is Elder Paisios.

This phenomenon is not new. From the history of the Church we know that some people use names and things to convey their teachings or practices which the Church does not use or accept.

An anonymous letter often has no value, but when it has a name it is likely to mislead many. Specifically, there is a widely circulated recipe for making bread by Elder Paisios with some instructions.

They call it "the lucky bread of Saint Paisios" which brings luck to whoever makes it. It is good not only for one's self, but for one's family.

For several years some have cunningly circulated this in monasteries to advertise themselves as spiritual children of Elder Paisios or of some Athonite Elder, as some ordinary Christians have reported, and they send these recipes through photocopy, or email, or by any other way.

This recipe says the following: For Friday's "lucky bread" the Christian should knead flour of a particular brand and split it into four parts. One part should be baked and the other three should be given to three other Christians, who in turn should do the same. On the first day you add yeast, on the second you add sugar, etc.

It also says that the recipe comes from the Holy Mountain or Jerusalem in several variations. At first glance it naturally seems to be a joke. But it isn't. In fact, it is very serious.

Many simple Christians fall into such procedures without knowing anything else except that it is some "teaching" of the well-known Elder. In fact, all of this fabricated - it is a fake.

A counsel of Elder Paisios, which he characteristically stated, was simple: "My telephone is my prayer rope." He said this to emphasize that communication with God is through prayer. This is what we must do, say the clergy.

As the Church often says on these occasions, when we are not sure about something, it is good to communicate with our parish priest.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.