Newly Numbered among the Choir of the Saints
St. Porphyrios (Bairaktaris) of Kafsokalivia
Elder Porphyrios (Bairaktaris) the Kapsokalyvite (1906–1991) was an Athonite Priestmonk known for his gifts of spiritual discernment, a type of clairvoyance which he sometimes called “spiritual television.” He was born Feb. 7 in the little village of St. John Karystia, in the province of Evia. His parents, Leonidas & Eleni Bairaktaris, baptized him Evangelos. He was 4th out of 5 siblings. He was tonsured a monk at the age of 14 or 15 with the monastic name Nikitas. He served in the Athonite skete of Kafsokalyvia, in the Cell of St. George, under 2 spiritual fathers: Fr. Panteimon & Fr. Ionnakios. Forced by pleurisy to depart the Holy Mountain, he returned to his birthplace, where he was unexpectedly elevated to the priesthood at the age of 21 by Porphyrios III, Archbishop of Mount Sinai & Raithu. With the outbreak of World War II he became a hospital chaplain in Athens, in which post he continued for 3 decades (1940–1970). His later years were devoted to the construction of the Holy Convent of the Transfiguration of the Saviour. After 1984 he returned to Mount Athos, occupying the same cell which he had earlier in life been forced to abandon. Through his role as spiritual father, Elder Porphyrios became known to an ever wider circle of Orthodox followers. Several compilations of stories & sayings attributed to him have been published. His sainthood was declared by the synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on Nov. 27th, 2013. His feastday is Dec. 2nd.
- This is the way we should see Christ. He is our friend, our brother; He is whatever is good & beautiful. He is everything. Yet, He is still a friend & He shouts it out, “You’re my friends, don’t you understand that? We’re brothers. I’m not…I don’t hold hell in my hands. I am not threatening you. I love you. I want you to enjoy life together with me.”
- Love Christ & put nothing before His Love. He is Joy, He is Life, He is Light. Christ is Everything. He is the ultimate Desire, He is Everything. Everything beautiful is in Christ.
- Somebody who is Christ’s must love Christ, & when he loves Christ he is delivered from the Devil, from hell & from death.
- The life of the parents is the only thing that makes good children. Parents should be very patient & ‘saintlike’ to their children. They should truly love their children. And the children will share this love! For the bad attitude of the children, says Fr. Porphyrios, the ones who are usually responsible for it are their parents themselves. The parents don’t help their children by lecturing them & repeating to them ‘advices’, or by making them obeying strict rules in order to impose discipline. If the parents do not become ‘saints’ & truly love their children, & if they don’t struggle for it, then they make a huge mistake. With their wrong &/or negative attitude the parents convey to their children their negative feelings. Then their children become reactive & insecure not only to their home, but to the society as well.