December 19, 2020

Elder Eumenios Saridakis: The Saint Who Had the Gift of Laughter


By Monk Simon

Our Father always laughed, he laughed a lot. He would laugh with us people and conveyed this joy to us. He laughed with the Saints, with our Lady the Theotokos, with the Angels, which is why whenever we went to him, whether we were in distress or mentally or physically tired, we would all leave as if were flying.

Father Eumenios also laughed during the services, while reading the Holy Gospel or while censing the Lady Theotokos during the "More Honorable".

Whoever approached him, would see a priest, a monk, with great joy in his face. This joy, many times, was expressed with many laughs, which were mixed with his words that were at other times poured out from the sides of his shut lips when he was silent. You understood that it was the laughter of a man who was full of divine grace, a heart that overflowed with true, divine peace and joy, which poured out and refreshed as well as surprised others. It was obvious that Father Eumenios tried to restrain himself out of humility, that this holy peculiarity would not manifest itself, but he did not always succeed.

Whenever I visited him I received this gift, namely joy and his "different kind of" laughter, which would flow into my heart. When he wore his priestly stole and came out of the Beautiful Gate to say "Peace be unto all" or when he censed our Panagia on the iconostasis, his face, compared to the glittering vestments, would shine even more. Especially in front of the Theotokos during the "More Honorable" or the Salutations. He would truly greet her flooded with joy and would laugh by himself, as if the Theotokos had told him some pleasant news.

Source: From the book π. Ευμένιος - Ο κρυφός άγιος της εποχής μας, Athens 2010, 2nd edit., pp. 137-146. Translation by John Sanidopoulos.