January 13, 2022

The Recently Reposed Metropolitan Kosmas of Aetolia and Acarnania (+ January 3, 2022)

By Ioannis Hatzidigenis, Theologian

Metropolitan Kosmas of Aetolia and Acarnania did not in any case remind us of being a Bishop of our day as his spiritual endowment was observed as being in the footsteps of the Holy Hierarchs and his ecclesiastical phronema rested in the consciousness of the Orthodox faith.

As a Liturgist of the sacred Altar he had proverbial reverence. I will never forget the testimony of the same Bishop Kosmas of Aetolia, when as a hieromonk he co-liturgized with Saint Iakovos of Evia: "At one point during the Divine Liturgy with Saint Iakovos, the wings of Angels could be heard participating in the dread Mystery! For Saint Iakovos, of course, such experiences were considered a daily phenomenon."

He often visited the Garden of our Panagia at the Holy Mountain. He harvested and tasted the honey of the Hesychastic and Kolyvadic Tradition. He was a regular pilgrim to the ascetic Huts and Monasteries of Athos. He consulted the Fathers of the Holy Mountain even when he became Bishop and they humbly confessed that he had a Pure nous and Illumination of God. His great love was observed by Saint Paisios the Athonite, with whom he had essential communication. He did not change this habit when he became Metropolitan. The Metropolitan now came to Mount Athos to present problems and questions to the spiritual children of Saint Paisios, and returned rested to his Metropolis.

The future Metropolitan Kosmas receiving something from St. Paisios.

His brother according to the flesh, Apostolos Papachristos, had made known the following incident with Saint Porphyrios: "Saint Porphyrios was talking from his Hesychasterion in Milesi with the then hieromonk Kosmas Papachristos. At one point, someone entered the cell of the Saint and he interrupted the telephone conversation. Saint Porphyrios then reacted and said, 'Do not interrupt me, because I am talking to a Bishop.' Father Kosmas did not realize this fact then."

And it was natural that he did not perceive the prophecy of Saint Porphyrios. Because he never sought to become Bishop. He never moved with secular motives for promotion to high positions.

Unforgettable moments, when during the days of the former Metropolitan Theokletos of Aetolia and Acarnania, there had "taken over" the administration the known to all "lay-bishop" Vlachopoulos, who oversaw the Metropolis due to the old age and loss of mind of the late Theokletos.

The then hieromonk Kosmos showed prudence, a humble phronema and discernment in this dire situation which the Metropolis of Aetolia had found itself. He prayerfully withstood all temptations. As much as he hid himself, God revealed him! Then the day came when he became the Metropolitan of this eparchy that produced saints.

The preeminently therapeutic work of the Bishop, Holy Confession, was continued by Metropolitan Kosmos until his illness. Endless hours he confessed his flock.

I will never forget the moment, when one summer night in his really humble house in Agrinio, after many hours of confession, the clock ticked twelve at midnight and the last confessor finished. The Father of Aitoloakarnania Kosmas, had not thought of himself as he was still fasting! He ate his food at midnight and then he told us that we should definitely do Compline and the Akathist to the Theotokos, no matter how tired we are!

Like all the Saints, we see that he did not pity his flesh, which is why he received the Holy Spirit.

The future Metropolitan Kosmas (left) as a student in 1967 with the future Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos (right).

The land of Aitoloakarnania saw days of glory. Worthy and revered priests, monks and theologians, became "laborers in God's field" (1 Cor. 3:9).

His words, teachings and writings testify in full to his spiritual experience. He became a successor of the Holy Fathers, a warrior against heresy and ecumenism and of religious syncretism. He did not accept the adulteration and falsification of the Orthodox liturgical experience with anti-canonical and subversive acts.

With spiritual struggle, he testified in favor of the Tradition of Greek Orthodox Romiosini and resisted infatuation with the West and "European progressiveness".

Instead of humble-appearing silence and the compromise of rationalism with the Faith, he preferred the sacrificial path, of testimony and martyrdom!

The trapping and grafting with destructive elements of the Greek Orthodox identity had no place!

He was led by the God-fearing Fathers, who walked the martyric path of Holiness, calling on all of us to traditionally stand up to modern dangers and challenges.

Saint Kosmas the Aitolos, the boast, patron and protector of Aitoloakarnania, rejoices and is glad for his worthy child, Metropolitan Kosmas of Aetolia and Acarnania, who so much honored and loved the Equal to the Apostles and National Apostle Saint Kosmas.

We pray the love of God to appoint a successor Bishop who is similar, who smells like frankincense like the late Father Kosmas! Amen, may it be so!

May we have his blessing. Good Paradise!

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.