This God who for reasons of His own sometimes did not reveal everything. Life lived in grace is an unknown mystery for us. The Elder always pointed this out to all those who attributed his abilities to something other than grace. Return to the world Even after being overshadowed by divine grace, this young disciple of the Lord continued in his ascetic struggles as before, with humility, godly zeal and unprecedented love of learning. The Lord now wanted to make him a teacher and shepherd of His rational sheep.
He tried him out, measured him up, and found him adequate. Monk Nikitas never but never thought of leaving the Holy Mountain and returning to the world. His divine all-consuming love for our Savior drove him to wish and to dream of finding himself in the open desert and, except for his sweet Jesus, completely alone.
However, severe pleurisy, finding him worn down from his superhuman ascetic struggles, caught hold of him while he was gathering snails on the rocky cliffs.
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This forced his elders to order him to take up residence in a monastery in the world, so that he could become well again. He obeyed and returned to the world, but as soon as he recovered he went back to the place of his repentance. He again fell ill; this time his elders, with a great deal of sadness, sent him back into the world for good. Thus, at nineteen years of age, we find him living as a monk at the Monastery Lefkon of St.
Charalambos, close to his birthplace. Nevertheless he continued with the regime he had learnt on the Holy Mountain, his psalms and the like. He was, however, forced to scale down his fasting until his health got better. From his conversation with Nikitas he noticed the virtue and the divine gifts that he possessed. He was so impressed that on the 26th of July , the feast of St.
Paraskevi, he ordained him a deacon. The very next day, the feast of St. Panteleimon, he promoted him to the priesthood as a member of the Sinaite Monastery. He was given the name Porphyrios. The Metropolitan of Karystia, Panteleimon Phostini also took part in the service. Elder Porphyrios was only twenty-one years old. The Spiritual Father After this the resident Metropolitan of Karystia, Panteleimon appointed him with an official letter of warrant to be a father confessor. He carried out this new "talent" that was given him with humanity and hard work. He realized that he had to handle each of the faithful individually.
He found the answer in the writings of St. Basil, who advised, "We write all these things so that you can taste the fruits of repentance. We do not consider the time it takes, but we take note of the manner of repentance.
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He took this advice to heart and put it into practice. Even in his ripe old age he reminded young father confessors of this advice.
He would receive large numbers of the faithful for confession every day. On many occasions he would hear confession for hours without a break. His reputation as a spiritual father, knower of souls, and sure guide, quickly spread throughout the neighboring area.
This meant that many people flocked to his confessional at the Holy Monastery of Lefkon close to Avlona, Evia. Sometimes whole days and nights would pass by with no let-up and no rest, as he fulfilled this godly work, this sacrament. He would help those who came to him with his gift of discernment, guiding them to self-knowledge, truthful confession and the life in Christ.
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With this same gift he uncovered snares of the devil, saving souls from his evil traps and devices. Archimandrite In he was awarded the office of Archimandrite from the Metropolitan of Karystia, "in honor of the service that you have given to the Church as a Spiritual Father until now, and for the virtuous hopes our Holy Church cherishes for you" protocol no. The hopes of whom, by the grace of God, were realized. Priest, for a short time at the parish of Tsakayi, Evia and to the Monastery of St. Some of the older villagers cherish fond memories of his presence there to this day.
He had left the Holy Monastery of St. Charalambos because it had been turned into a convent. So, around we find him living in the ruined and abandoned Holy Monastery of St. In the desert of the city When the turmoil of the Second World War approached Greece, the Lord enlisted His obedient servant, Porphyrios, assigning him to a new post, closer to his embattled people. On the 12th of October he was given the duty of temporary priest to the Chapel of St. He himself requested the position out of the compassionate love he had for his fellows who were suffering.
He wanted to be near them during the most difficult times in their lives, when illness, pain and the shadow of death showed the hopelessness of all other hope except for hope in Christ. There were other applicants with excellent credentials who were also interested in the post, but the Lord enlightened the director of the Polyclinic. Humble and charming, Porphyrios, who was uneducated according to the standards of the world but wise according to God, was chosen.
The person who made this choice later expressed his amazement and joy in finding a true priest saying, "I found a perfect father, just like Christ wants. He served the Polyclinic as its employed chaplain, for thirty whole years and then in order to be of service to his spiritual children who sought him there, voluntarily, for a further three years.
Here as well as the role of chaplain, which he carried out with complete love and devotion, celebrating the services with wonderful devotion; confessing, admonishing, healing souls and many times bodily ailments too, he also acted as spiritual father to as many of those that came to him. It was not enough to support himself, his parents and the few other close relatives who relied on him. He had to work for a living. He organized in succession, a poultry farm and then a weaving-shop.
In his zeal for services to be celebrated in the most uplifting manner, he applied himself to the composition of aromatic substances which could then be used in the preparation of the incense used in divine worship. He combined charcoal with aromatic essences, now censing the church with his own slow-burning charcoal that gave off a sweet fragrance of spirituality.
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He never, it seems, revealed the details of this discovery. From he leased the small monastery of St. Nicholas, Kallisia, which belongs to the Holy Monastery of Pendeli. He systematically cultivated the land around it, putting in a lot of hard work. It was here that wanted to establish the convent which he eventually built elsewhere. He improved the wells, built an irrigation system, planted trees, and tilled the soil with a digging machine that he worked himself.
All this together with duty, twenty-four hours a day, as chaplain and confessor. He valued work highly and would allow himself no rest.
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He learnt from experience the words of abba Isaac the Syrian, "God and his angels find joy in necessity; the devil and his workers find joy in idleness. Departure from the Polyclinic On the 16th February , having completed thirty-five years of service as a priest, he received a small pension from the Hellenic Clerical Insurance Fund and left his duties at the Polyclinic. In essence, however, he remained until his replacement arrived.
Even after that he continued to visit the Polyclinic to meet his great number of spiritual children. Finally, around , he minimized his visits to the Polyclinic and instead received his spiritual children at St. My strength is made perfect in weakness Elder Porphyrios, in addition to the illness that forced him to leave Mt. Athos, and that kept his left side especially sensitive, suffered with many other ailments, at various times.
Towards the end of his service at the Polyclinic he became ill with kidney trouble. However, he was operated on only when his sickness was in its advanced stages. This was because he worked tirelessly despite his illness. He had become used to being obedient "unto death.
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This delay resulted in him slipping into a coma. The doctors told his relatives to prepare for his funeral. However, by divine will, and despite all medical expectations, the Elder returned to earthly life to continue his service to the members of the Church. Some time before that, he had fractured his leg.