December 2, 2014

A Spiritual Profile of Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyva

In 1977 Elder Porphyrios visited Chania, Crete. After this visit, Metropolitan Irenaios of Kydonia and Apokorona, the current Archbishop of Crete, had the following impressions to give about Elder Porphyrios on a radio broadcast in Chania:

I saw him to be unblemished, white as a lily, simple, ethereal, down to earth, not at all pretentious or giving the appearance of piety. Such a gifted man, but you have a sense of his transcendence. I wondered, as I watched him with fascination, if he was an angel in the flesh, both jovial and serious, very happy and crucified, easily approachable and set apart.

It is impossible for someone to describe him correctly. Near him you feel something else, something strange and unfamiliar. You understand that you are with a true man, redeemed, free, young, ageless in his old age, illumined and good. With him you feel the joy to stay for hours, as if you were within eternity.

His words were the words of a saint and his character was sweet and authentic. It was the character of a man, a cleric, that we have such need of today to give rest to souls, to heighten morale and to give support in critical times.

This is how I saw him and I still see him in my thoughts, and I give glory to God and rejoice that I met him, even shortly.

When you hear the words of Father Porphyrios it becomes easily certified that such a man is not babbling, but his words are deep and concise. He speaks like the prophets, to manifest things, to explain his experiences, to reveal the truth, the truth of God, which is beautiful, universal and is communicated easily and effortlessly. I heard him speak with love for trees and great care for wells and the waters that irrigate the earth.

It is impossible for someone to determine the contribution of such a man as Father Porphyrios. He is a man who sees the people within the light and love of God for all. A man who is healthy and optimistic, despite his age, a man who loves and is humbled. A man who is a man.

Source: From the book Discourses on the Spiritual Life (Greek). Translated by John Sanidopoulos.