December 2, 2013

Two Metropolitans on the Canonization of Saint Porphyrios

Ari Viketos
November 28, 2013

Twenty-two years after the repose of Elder Porphyrios of Kavsokalyva the Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, under Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, decided yesterday to place him in the List of Saints of the Orthodox Church. The Synodal decision states that the memory of the Venerable Porphyrios the Kavsokalyvite will be honored by the Church on December 2nd, the day of his repose.

Metropolitan Meliton of Philadelphia, a member of the Canonical Committee of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which made the suggestion to the Holy Synod for the canonization, said that the main criterion for the canonization of Elder Porphyrios was the conscience of the entire Church throughout the Orthodox world. "He was truly a great Saint", the Metropolitan stressed.

"As I know personally and empirically he had communion with the Saints, with God, with all of Creation, and he helped many people. He worked miracles through his gift of clairvoyance and foresight, which he inherited by the Grace of God", said Mr. Meliton.

The Metropolitan of Philadelphia also noted that over 50 books have been written about Elder Porphyrios by many people, even by people who despised him because he was uneducated according to the world. They wrote about his life and contribution.

Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou met Elder Porphyrios in 1981 when he was a student in Athens. Elder Porphyrios guided him to another Elder, the late Iakovos Tsalikes, Abbot of the Monastery of the Venerable David in Evia. Neophytos of Morphou maintained, as he said, a living relationship with Elder Porphyrios until his repose, which continues until today "in another form".

Regarding the importance of the canonization, Neophytos of Morphou said: "In the circumstances of our spiritual crisis with all that is happening in Hellenism and throughout the world, the Ecumenical Patriarchate wisely announced to us 'come receive the light from the unwaning light' and this light is the eternal fire of our venerable Father Porphyrios, the clairvoyant and universal scientist."

According to Mr. Neophytos, Elder Porphyrios and other contemporary Elders - Iakovos, Paisios, Eumenios - "never cultivated elderism. This is a phenomenon that followed their burials by people who wanted to imitate them without having the spiritual qualifications."

Also, Neophytos of Morphou noted that Elder Porphyrios had knowledge of the whole world and accepted all the technologies of modern science. He was not, he told us, a "black and white Elder". All kinds of people approached him, especially people of sin and extremities, and he comforted them and guided them to repentance and to an ecclesiastical life. It is very important that Elder Porphyrios spent thirty years of his life in the most sinful area of Athens, Omonia Square. He concluded: "He had many illnesses and never asked for healing. He felt that his illnesses were a security which he had in opposition to the many gifts God gave him."

The basic core of thought of Elder Porphyrios was that the world has a need to consolidate and cultivate love towards their Creator, not through a fear of things to come, but through a selfless relationship, like a loving father to his child. Unity, which is the greatest inheritance of Christ to His Apostles, can be assured when a child unites with the father primarily through love and not fear.

Translated by John Sanidopoulos.