December 2, 2020

The Roman Catholic Monk From Italy Who Was Left Speechless by Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyva

By Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol

For every person who approached him, Father Porphyrios was a revelation. And this was also the case with the non-Orthodox. Let me tell you a very typical story.

Once, when we were at New Skete [the brotherhood of Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi], we hosted a Roman Catholic monk, who had come to Mount Athos to know how the monks live here and, in general, the whole ascetic life and conduct of the Holy Mountain.

We had talked to him about Elder Porphyrios, and when he went to Athens he went and met him.

As soon as Elder Porphyrios saw him, without asking him anything, he began to describe to him the monastery in which this monk lived in Italy and the way of life in this monastery.

He even described to him a neighboring convent, which was supervised by these monks, and told him amazing details about all the monks there!

This monk was literally speechless, because for the first time in his life he met such a man.

And when he came back to Mount Athos, he told us:

"If someone had told me all these things, what I have seen and what I have heard, I certainly would not believe him. How is it possible for him to be in Greece and our monastery in northern Italy and talk to me about all these things, talk to me about the monks, talk to me about the nuns, about each of us individually?"

And as this monk told us, when he asked Elder Porphyrios how he saw all this, he replied: "The Grace of God to us Orthodox reveals the mysteries"!

From the book by Kleitos Ioannidis, Elder Porphyrios: Testimonies and Experiences (Γέρων Πορφύριος, Μαρτυρίες και εμπειρίες), 2009. Translation by John Sanidopoulos.