July 12, 2015

Saint Paisios, a Prophet of our Times

This holy icon of St. Paisios the Athonite, painted by Archimandrite Ambrose Gkorelov, is in the Metropolis of Morphou in Cyprus, and was painted according to the requirements of Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou. It bears an inscription of words spoken by the Holy Elder to the Metropolitan while he was a student, as he narrates below, which is a prophetic message for all of Cyprus.

By Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou

I met Saint Paisios in 1982, when I was a law student. He was a man who waited to hear something painful to pray for from the heart, and he was always pending on the headset of the contemporary world. He was an ascetic for the world. You would open your heart to him, and he would open your mind. "The Light of Christ shines upon all."

He insisted that I not go to Mount Athos to become a monk. "Go to Cyprus," he said. "Make spiritual foundations, and these foundations will get rid of the foundations." When I told him I didn't understand the last part, he told me jokingly: "Are you an American that you don't understand? I'm speaking Greek. The Cypriot problem is spiritual. Now the spiritual law is being applied. When you build monasteries, parishes, Orthodox families, then the foundations of sin and the occupation will disappear."

He took me out to the yard of his cell and formed into the soil a large rectangular shape. He divided it into two squares and said: "A time will come when you will build monasteries. Make two courtyards: one for laypeople and the second only for monastics." I was questioning what he said, because at the time I was just a simple student, so he added: "You will do these things later."

Indeed, later as a hieromonk and bishop we built the Sacred Monastery of Saint George in Mavrovouni and the Sacred Monastery of Saint Nicholas beyond Orounta, in the manner indicated by Saint Paisios. From then on, whenever I went to Mount Athos, I would see him, and he would tell me many things not of the present.

Saint Paisios is a Cappadocian who became an Athonite and now is an ecumenical teacher of Orthodoxy, a wondrous prophet of our nation who tests the faith and lack of faith of many.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.