Saturday, November 28, 2015

Account of Abbess Macrina
on Saint Porphyrios.

   In the vigil for the Entrance of the Theotokos in 1988, the Abbess of the Monastery of Kato Panagia in Arta, Greece, had come to the monastery of Elder Porphyrios together with her sisterhood. She recounts:
   The morning, after the vigil, we went, together, to the ordination of His Eminence the Metropolitan of Arta, Ignatios, in Athens. In the afternoon, we visited Elder Porphyrios, so that he could talk to the sisters and so that we could get his blessing.
   Father Porphyrios was in an exceptionally good mood and kept us for a long time. He talked to us about prayer of the nous and stressed there is no real prayer of the nous, if there is no real humility, which is acquired through obedience.

   Since we had enjoyed plenty of him and the sisters of Kato Panagia monastery had been filled with joy and blessing, I started to rush to leave. It was 7 o'clock. The Elder, however, was in the mood for talking.
   - “Elder, we must get going, it's late and we are far away”, I said to him. Yet, the Elder did not share my con­cern at all and continued talking. At my insistence, he let us go at twenty to eight. We got his blessing and left most pleased.
   As soon as we went downstairs, he sent a sister after me, and called me back up to him. He asked: “Did I speak well? Perhaps I was misunderstood?”.
   - “No, Elder, you spoke to us very well, but we must leave as we had a vigil last night, and it is already late. When will we get back to the monastery?” (Our monastery is two and a half hours drive away from Milesi).
   - “Don't rush, you'll get back on time”, he told me. He asked me if I knew about the Church of Piraeus Radio Station. Full of joy he “jumped" out of his bed and turned the radio on for me, so that I could hear it. The clock in the room said that it was five to eight. I worked out when we would reach the monastery and we had to get a move on.
   Father told me how much good the station would do for people and he didn't seem to be at all in a hurry. “Elder, I must leave, they'll be worried at the monastery” (I reckoned that we would arrive at about midnight).
   - “Don't rush. You'll get back on time”. He repeated indefinitely. When the clock struck 8 o'clock, he gave me his blessing to leave. However, the driver was extremely cautious and drove very slowly, we also made two stops in between. One for fuel, and another to find a taxi, because a lady who accompanied us had to go to Athens.
   However, while all the sisters were worried, because the car was going so slowly, not one of them looked at her watch. We talked about all the wonderful things the Elder had told us, and every now and then, we told the driver to go faster. Yet, he was unruffled and explained that cars get ruined if they are driven fast etc... For this reason, each time we looked, the speed indicator was somewhere between 40 and 60 km an hour. From Megara to the monastery, it went especially slow, because it was a dirt road and he wanted to look after the car.
   When we arrived at the monastery all the sisters greeted us with great joy. We told them our "news" and when we went into the refectory I said to the sisters: - “Why did you stay up so late, especially after a vigil the night before? Why didn't you go and rest, how will you ever get up in the morning?”.
   - “We should go to bed this early Mother, what are we chickens?”.
   - “Why? What time is it?”, I asked in surprise.
   - “A quarter to nine”.
   Naturally, I thought they were joking and I didn't believe them. When they showed me the clock, I was speechless. From Milesi to Makrino in three-quarters of an hour, and travelling so slowly!. Our wonder and enthusiasm, when we realized what a miracle had taken place, cannot be described. The prayer of Elder Porphyrios had again overcome place and time. God is wondrous in his saints!.
   The next day, a doctor we know, a spiritual child of the Elder, went to visit him. Then the Elder laughing with joy said to him: “When you are obedient, miracles hap­pen, and the Abbess suddenly finds herself back at her monastery”. Of course, he didn't know what the little father meant and only understood the Elder's words when he came to visit us and mentioned the matter.
   The next day, when I told Fr. Porphyrios what had happened; he teased me full of love.

May his prayer introduce us into Paradise in the same way.
Mother Macrina.

Marina Robb (2001), With Elder Porphyrios: A Spiritual Child Remembers, the Holy Convent of the Transfiguration of the Savior, Athens.