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September 7, 2020

The Repose of a Sanctified Clergyman - Archimandrite Photios Georgiou (+ August 23, 2020)

By Metropolitan Seraphim of Kastoria

Ten days ago, the local Church of Akrites in Kastoria sent to the Kingdom of Heaven a sanctified clergyman of the historic Lechovo, Archimandrite Photios Georgiou.

Who was Papa-Photis?

He was a married clergyman, who was widowed. His presvytera was a holy soul and they created a blessed family. He was a disciple of the late Metropolitan Augoustinos of Florina, from whom he received the gift of the Diaconate and the Priesthood. He served in the neighboring Diocese of Florina, and specifically in the village of Perdika, developing a rich spiritual work close to that untiring worker of the Gospel.

He was characteristically known for his zeal for the dominion of God's Kingdom, zeal for God's ordinances, for His house, and for His worship. That is why he could also repeat with the fiery Prophet of the Old Testament: "I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty" (3 Kings 19:10).

But he also had some other special features. He was a friend of Holy Scripture. Not only did he study it, but he copied it into entire volumes that adorn his home library, in order to come closer to the sacred text.

Not only did he study it, but he also copied the entire Holy Bible!

He was a friend of Saint John Chrysostom. Saint John Chrysostom was also a friend of the Apostle Paul. Thus, Papa-Photis also became a friend of the winged apostle of the Church. He studied, copied, and sent these texts daily to various people, so that people would get to know the essence of Holy Scripture.

He was also a friend of Worship. Not only when he was serving in Perdika, but also after his retirement, he liturgized early in the morning every day, almost until his old age, in the chapel in the courtyard of his house in the presence of 2-3 people, in order to communicate of the Immaculate Mysteries.

He was a friend of Prayer. He devoted endless hours to prayer, to the single-phrased prayer and to seeking divine mercy.

He was a friend of the Panagia. He exceedingly loved the Panagia and wept when he repeated her name. It is no coincidence that he reposed on the day of her feast (August 23).

Finally, he was a friend of the Saints and especially of Saint Sophia of Kleisoura. He was the last to hear her confession and sent her with his prayers to the Kingdom of Heaven. Now, she welcomes him to the heavenly habitations and accompanies him to the heavenly mansions, just as he accompanied her during the hours of her loneliness at the Monastery of Kleisoura.

These are a few flowers that I would like to deposit into his coffin.

The day of his departure was like a real festival.

His tomb had been prepared by him since 1997, next to his elder.

His face was bright, like an angelic face, his body was flexible, they became signs to all of his sanctified life.

He lived in obscurity, he never made followers, he did not form groups, he did not speak of himself, nor of the gifts with which God endowed him, and there were many.

Above all, however, he did not make himself out to be the savior of men, but indicated with his life the only Savior of the world, who is Christ.

Why not stand before such a sanctified person and instead we stand before people who fill us only with words without any spiritual content and especially without vision, without life, without the Holy Spirit, without the presence of Christ? Those who present themselves to men lose the presence of Christ and, at some point, become an arrogant clanging cymbal.

May we have the blessing and prayers of Papa-Photis and, from heaven where he is located, may he look with his teary eyes on us who are in this valley of Lamentation.

Remember us Papa-Photi!

Commemorate us at the Heavenly Altar and speak for us to Christ ... we need it in the difficult times we live in.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.