January 25, 2020

When Papa-Fotis the Fool for Christ Visited a Brothel in His Vestments

By Fr. Athanasios Giousmas

Once, it was late at night, and we [Papa-Fotis] visited one of the houses in our town where he sometimes found accommodation.

Before he went to sleep, he told the man of the house:

"Tomorrow at sunrise, you and me have got work to do."

They got up, left Mytilini and went to his little monastery. He quickly gathered the holy vessels and his priestly vestments and went to the picturesque Chapel of the Panagia Galatousa, up near the castle of the town.

He served the Liturgy. Then he took the Holy Chalice and the spoon and, just as he was, in his vestments, went off to one of the brothels that were in that area at the time.

There he gave communion to a prostitute, Eulambia, who was on her death-bed, and who immediately upon communing went to her rest "in the Lord," that is she died. He had previously heard her confession!

When I asked him about this later on he told me:

"This has happened lots of times. There was a woman near the Church of Saint Symeon who used to tell me when there was a case like this and I’d go off to these souls in the brothel. They accepted me. I talked to them about repentance and the salvation of the soul and about the next life. I never spoke badly to them, just told them, with love, to repent and that God would take care of them, would welcome them back into His heart. Many souls repented. You asked me if I was afraid. What is there to fear? I fear nobody. We fear only God, when we sin. I never cared what other people were saying, I was acting for Christ."

Source: From the book Παπα-Φώτης ο ‘διά Χριστόν σαλός’ (1912-2010), Mytilini 2010.