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August 2, 2021

The Monk Who Pictured Every Woman as an Icon of the Virgin Mary


By Hieromonk Anastasios,
Cell of the Honorable Forerunner and Dionysios of Fourna 
Karyes, Mount Athos

We passed a cell outside Karyes, the cell of Papa-Gregory. He came to Mount Athos when he was very young, about ten or twelve years old, and became a monk.

When we visited he was about eighty-five to ninety, and he had never been outside of Mount Athos.

"Elder, do you remember women?"

"Yes, I remember them."

This beautiful "yes" was not enough for us, which was disarming, so we again asked:

"How are women, Elder?"

We waited for him to describe to us what a woman is like. He closed his eyes, got serious at that time, and said:

"When I look at the Panagia, I remember my mother."

It seems all the women of the world for Papa-Gregory were like the Panagia and like his mother.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.