Testimonies and Experiences
Elder Porphyrios as I knew him
The great need and intense desire to meet Elder Porphyrios arose in me after a lecture in Limassol which referred to him.
I went on vacation to Athens with my family in August 1990. I immediately made attempts to reach Elder Porphyrios by telephone. All my much concentrated week long effort was fruitless. He was always absent or ill.
I had begun to believe that at the end of it all I wouldn't see him. I began to feel disillusioned. I had made so many telephone calls. You can imagine what I felt when, on my very last attempt, the very same Elder Porphyrios answered the phone. I said: "I would like, to speak to Elder Porphyrios, please" I heard, "My child, it is I."
I cannot describe to you how I felt at that moment. I could not believe it. I was dumbfounded to such an extent that I really could not articulate a word. My husband, who was near me could not understand what happened to me.
In any event, I tried to take a hold of myself. I said to him, "Elder, I would like to come and see you with my family. I'm from Cyprus. But Elder, I don't know where you live and how to get there." "Come," he said to me. "But as to how you get here, someone else will explain that to you because I don't know how to explain it." I heard the Elder call someone who was obviously nearby. A gentleman came to the phone and explained how to get there.
I made that telephone call at 7:30 in the morning. Immediately after, my husband, our two children and I caught the bus.
Around eleven in the morning, we arrived at the Elder's Convent in Oropos.
On arrival, we found other people who had gone there to see the Elder. However, they told us that we would not be able to see him because he was sick.
I said to my husband that I would like to wait there. We should not leave, in the hope that at some point we could see the Elder. My husband agreed and we stayed there. In fact they offered us food, fruit and water.
Then, at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, they opened the door that led to Elder Porphyrios' room, where he was resting. We went up. There were about twenty people waiting to see him. They told us that he would only give us his blessing because he was very ill, and he couldn't talk for much longer, as there were so many of us. Indeed, the famous singer Philippos Nicolaou was also there with his wife.
I selfishly stood second from the end hoping to see a little more of the Elder than the others and to talk to him.
The people went in one by one and he blessed them with the cross that he held in his right hand. When I approached, he pulled his hand back and did not bless me. He blessed everyone else but me.
This was the worst shock to me. Immediately I began to have some very ugly thoughts. I thought he had seen something bad in me with his gift of discernment and that was why he did not want to bless me. Not for one moment did the thought enter my mind that he did it for my own good.
On leaving the Elder's room, I was in a very bad state. In spite of the fact that I knew both my husband and my children were already very tired from the trip to Oropos and our long wait there, I did not agree to leave. I was unyielding.
I left my family and went and hid myself behind a wall. There, unseen, the tears started to run from my eyes. No one saw me because I was hidden. No one heard me because my crying was silent.
Hidden as I was, I heard the Elder say through the open door of his room, "Someone is outside." The nun who was directing the people to the Elder's room said to him: "Elder there is no one outside.* It was like he was seeing me through the walls.
The nun went outside and looked right and left. She didn't see me and she went back into the room. I heard the Elder for the third time, "Someone is outside." He said this three times with a loud voice saying the same thing in such a way that I could hear.
You can understand how shocking this was to me. The realization that although I was hidden and no one saw me, Elder Porphyrios knew that I was there. I could see, in this way, his gift of foresight. I saw it with my own eyes. I heard it with my own ears.
I came out of my hiding place. The nun then saw me and led me to the Elder. "Calm down, my child," the Elder said to me. Though he blessed all the others on the head, he not only blessed me on the head but also on the chest. He blessed me twice, with the cross he was holding. I kissed his hand. I thanked him and left quickly, as light as a bird. The happiness, the delight and the exultation that I felt within me cannot be described. It cannot be expressed with words, with any kind of words.
Maybe my testimony for Elder Porphyrios is unimportant in comparison with the testimonies and experiences of other people. However, for me personally, that meeting with the Elder was one of the most moving events of my life and I consider 1990, the year that I saw him, to be the most blessed year of my life.
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Article published in English on: 3-4-2009.
Last Update: 3-4-2009.