December 19, 2020

Portrait of a Philanthropist

Without my asking, Elder Ambrose (Lazaris) told me at one point: "Stavros, your mother is in Paradise."

I was shocked. It had been fifteen days since I slept. To learn from this life that my mother is up there - I was sure, almost sure, about my mother. My mother was an ascetic in her life. Always smiling.

In the last thirty years of her life she never left her house.

She had seven children.

She treated her father-in-law, who reposed at the age of 94, as if he was her own father.

She was very merciful.

She would steal money from my father's pants and would secretly give it to the poor.

She hosted beggars at home almost every day and made a table for them. Then she would pack food for them in a bag.

She shined with joy.

Seventeen years after her death, we her children found out, by chance, that she was awarded by the Metropolis of Demitriados and Almyros for her philanthropic work when she was younger.

She was anxious to give hospitality to others and only by force would she sit at the table to eat herself.

We have a farm of fifteen acres. During the German occupation it was full of fruit trees. From the 100 chickens we had in those days, without reservation she would take fifty eggs a day and together with fruit she would distribute them to the poor. She would also constantly give to her relatives in Volos. It made her happy to give.

May the Lord grant her soul rest.

This is what I learned from Elder Ambrose. Let us not forget the souls. They ask for our help. 
Source: Translation by John Sanidopoulos.