Saint Paisios of Mount Athos (+1994), the temptation of atheism when he was 11 years old & the appearance of Jesus Christ to him




Saint Paisios of Mount Athos (+1994),

the temptation of atheism when he was 11 years old

& the appearance of Jesus Christ to him

From the age of eleven [says Saint Paisios], I would read the lives of the Saints, I would fast and keep vigil. My older brother would take the books and hide them, but that didn’t stop me. I would just go into the forest and keep reading there.

Later, when I was fifteen, a friend of my brother named Costas told my brother, “I’ll make him willingly give up all this nonesense.” He came and explained to me Darwin’s theory of evolution. I was shaken by this, and I said, “I’ll go and pray, and, if Christ is God, He’ll appear to me so that I’ll believe. I’ll see a shadow, hear a voice—He will show me a sign.” That’s all I could come up with at the time.

So, I went and began to pray and make prostrations for hours; but nothing happened. Eventually I stopped in a state of exhaustion. Then something Costas had said came to mind: “I accept that Christ is an important man,” he had told me, “righteous and virtuous, Who was hated out of envy for His virtue and condemned by His countrymen.” I thought to myself, “since that’s how Christ was, even if He was only a man, He deserves my love, obedience, and self-sacrifice. I don’t want paradise; I don’t want anything. It is worth making every sacrifice for the sake of His holiness and kindness.”

God was waiting to see how I would deal with this temptation. After this, Christ Himself appeared to me in a great light. He was visible from the waist up. He looked at me with tremendous love and said, “I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in Me, even if he dies, he shall live” (Jn. 11:25). He was holding the Gospel in His left hand, open to the page where the same words were written.

With this event, the uncertainties that had troubled my soul were overcome, and in divine grace I came to know Christ as true God and Savior of the world. I was convinced of the truth of the God-man, not by men or books, but by the very Lord Himself, who revealed Himself to me even at this young age. Firmly established in faith, I thought to myself, “Come back now, Costas, if you want, and we’ll have a talk.”


Books of St Paisios


Saint Paisios of Mount Athos in Greece (+1994) & the young George the Tibetan Buddhist monk




Saint Paisios of Mount Athos, Greece (+1994)

July 2


Saint Paisios of Mount Athos in Greece (+1994)

& the young George the Tibetan Buddhist monk



George, a young man of sixteen or seventeen, came to Mount Athos in Greece to go from one monastery to another. Though Greek by blood, he had been raised abroad from early childhood among Tibetan Buddhist monks in their monastery. He had made a great deal of progress in meditation, and he had become an accomplished sorcerer, able to summon any demon he wanted. He was also an expert in the martial arts. Using the power of Satan, he made impressive displays of his abilities: he broke hazelnuts in his palm, and tossed away the shells while the nuts remained attached to his hand. He could read closed books. He struck large rocks with his bare hand, and they shattered like walnuts.

Some monks brought George to Saint Paisios so that he could help him. George asked Saint Paisios what powers he had, what he could do, and the St Paisios answered that he himself didn’t have any power, and that all power is from God.

George, wanting to demonstrate his power, concentrated his gaze on a large rock in the distance, and it shattered. Saint Paisios took a small rock and made the sign of the Cross over it, and told him to destroy it too. He concentrated and performed his magic, but he couldn’t shatter it. Then he started trembling, and the satanic powers―which he thought he controlled―since they weren’t able to break the rock, turned against him and hurled him to the opposite bank of the river. Saint Paisios picked him up in a miserable condition.

“Another time,” recounted St Paisios, “while we were talking, he suddenly stood up, grabbed me by the arms and spun me around backward. ‘Let’s see Hadjiefendis get you lose, if he can,’ he said. I felt it was like blasphemy to say that. I moved my hands a little, like this, and he was jerked away. He jumped up in the air and tried to kick me, but his foot stopped near my face, like it had hit an invisible wall! God protected me.

“At night, I kept him there, and he slept in my cell. The demons dragged him down into the pit and thrashed him for failing. In the morning he was in a bad state, injured and covered in thorns and dirt. He confessed, ‘Satan beat me up because I couldn’t defeat you.’”

St Paisios convinced George to bring him his magical texts, and he burned them. “When he came here”, St Paisios recalled, “he had some sort of charm or amulet with him. I went to take it, but he wouldn’t give it to me. I took a candle and said, “Lift the leg of your pants up a little.” Then I put the lit candle against his leg―he yelled and jumped up. “Well,” I said, “if the flame from a little candle is for you, how are you going to endure the fire of hell that you’re going to end up in because of what you’re doing?”

St Paisios kept the young man close to him for a little while and helped him, so long as he was willing to be obedient. He felt such compassion for him that he said, “I would leave the desert and go out into the world to help this boy.” He made an effort to learn if he had been baptized and even found out the name of the church where his baptism had taken place. Shaken by the power and the grace of the Elder, George wanted to become a monk, but he wasn’t able to.

Saint Paisios would refer to George’s case to show what a delusion it is to think that all religions are the same, that everyone believes in the same God, and that there’s no difference between Tibetan Buddhist and Orthodox monks.

From the Book:

Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

©2012 For the English Language by The Holy Monastery Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian

2013: A new miracle of Saint Paisios of Mount Athos in Florida, USA



2013: A new miracle

of Saint Paisios of Mount Athos in Florida, USA

I held off talking about this miracle by Elder Paisios publicly until the miracle was complete, which it nearly is. I was asked to write an account of the miracle to be included in the papers sent to the Ecumenical Patriarchate where a decision will be made soon on the canonization of Elder Paisios as a Saint. I offer it here for the glory of God and the edification of the reader.

December 18, 2013

Naples, Florida USA

Early morning on April 2, 2013 I looked down at my phone and saw a text from Jeremiah’s mother Patti, “Jeremiah was in a bad car accident. We are on the way to the hospital.” Jeremiah was 23 years old at the time. She had just received the news from the police who came to her door to tell her.

I rushed to the hospital. Soon the rest of Jeremiah’s family arrived and we got the news. It did not look good. Jeremiah’s car hit the curb, rolled three times, and the paramedics found him sitting outside the car barely conscious. He had multiple skull fractures, slipped into unconsciousness and was laying on the gurney in the emergency room.

I told the family that this was a desperate time but in desperate times we pray and we are going to ask God to save Jeremiah. Then we prayed and I anointed Jeremiah with oil. It was foggy that morning so the helicopter could not fly Jeremiah to the trauma center in nearby Fort Myers. They drove him instead.

The next three days were touch and go. We did not know if Jeremiah was going to live. Meanwhile, Dimitri, a friend of Jeremiah’s in Greece heard about the accident and told Jeremiah’s sister Emily about Elder Paisios, particularly how the Elder helped many young people in car accidents in Greece who Continue reading “2013: A new miracle of Saint Paisios of Mount Athos in Florida, USA”

A miracle of Saint Paisios (+1994) to a woman from Cyprus


A miracle of Saint Paisios (+1994) to a woman from Cyprus

A woman from the Island of Cyprus went to Thessaloniki, Greece to reverence the grave of the Elder Paisios.  As she knelt at the grave she slipped and fell forward and put her arm out to support herself.  When she went back to the hotel, she noticed that there was some dirt stuck to her elbow from her fall at the grave of the Elder Paisios.  She was very happy to see this for she thought it was a blessing in surprise to have this dirt from the grave of the Elder Paisios.  She gathered it together and she placed it in a container that she brought with her.  She then went to bed.  When she woke up in the morning she saw that a rose had sprouted from the sand she had placed in the container. The question arose in her mind was who planted the rose and who watered it and how would it sprout so fast?

God allows these things to happen during this age of disbelief and estrangement from God so that we can find our way back to His loving Grace.  It is for this reason that I urge you to take the issue of the salvation of your souls seriously.  Life is very fleeting. It is like a dream.  All of us in good time will be called home to eternal life.  We live in this world only as guests.  Life here is like going on a trip for ten or fifteen days and when the trip is over we return to our homes. This is the way our lives are.  Every person will leave from this life for eternity in the good time that God has prepared for each and every one of us.  All followers of Jesus Christ are very blessed when they think of their lives here in the world in these terms.

Carismi e miracoli – San Paisios del Mone Athos, Grecia (+1994) ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Italian





Charisms and miracles

San Paisios of Mone Athos, Greece (+1994)

It is not possible to exhaust the long list of unexplainable events that characterized life and took place after Paisios died because of him.

To give only a vague idea of ​​these two very brief references to it will be made.

Beyond natural laws

Costantino Coutsoyannis racconta: “Un giorno stavo trasportando l’Anziano dal monastero della Preziosa Croce, in Calcidica, fino a Sourotì [località in cui si trova un monastero femminile]. Durante questo tragitto fummo immersi in una pioggia torrenziale al punto che, si avrebbe detto, le cataratte del cielo si fossero aperte. Al nostro arrivo le monache ci attendevano con ombrelli e mantelli da dare all’Anziano affinché non si bagnasse. Mi fecero segno di avvicinarmi il più possibile all’edificio. Ma in modo sorprendente in un istante e per un raggio di due metri attorno alla vettura la pioggia cessò di cadere mentre poco più in là c’era il diluvio. Quando l’Anziano discese e mi ebbe salutato entrando, ricominciò a piovere normalmente pure sulla vettura”.

Eventi di guarigione

“Qualche anno fa, quando il buon padre viveva ancora, caddi malata. Mi diagnosticarono un tumore. Mio figlio andò a trovare l’Anziano e gli disse che mi avrebbero condotta all’Ospedale Théageneio di Salonicco come fu. In una sala operatoria, con una rapida biopsia, mostrarono che avevo un cancro. Sei giorni dopo i medici mi dissero che se il sangue non si fermava di scendere dalla piaga mi avrebbero condotto in sala operatoria. Mio figlio tornò a vedere il buon padre che gli disse: ‘Tua madre non s’inquieti, non è nulla. I chirurghi hanno sbagliato di fare un’operazione’. Gli donò un komboskìni (=una specie di rosario) dicendogli: ‘Dallo a tua madre e dille che con questo appenderà i medici alla parete’. Il settimo giorno, quando l’Anziano era nella Santa Montagna, apparse in Ospedale! ‘Vidi l’Anziano accanto a me mentre sistemava i tubicini che drenavano il sangue. Prima del tempo di ringraziarlo sparì’. La sera giunsero i medici e constatarono che il sangue non colava più, l’incisione si era chiusa e, conseguentemente, gli esami furono tutti negativi. Non avevo bisogno né di aspirina né di chemioterapia. Più tardi, dopo la mia uscita dall’Ospedale, incontrai l’Anziano nel monastero del Venerabile Precursore e lo ringraziai d’essere giunto in Ospedale per vedermi. Egli mi rispose: ‘Bambina mia, sono venuto perché i medici ti hanno ingiustamente maltrattata’ “.


Un altro fenomeno inspiegabile di cui fu protagonista padre Paisios e che lui stesso riferiva, furono alcune visioni. Non era oggetto solo di visioni demoniache ma, più spesso, di visioni di santi. Riportiamo solo un esempio. Paisios narrò che, in un determinato periodo, dei vescovi greci gli avevano sottoposto alcuni gravi problemi ai quali non erano riusciti trovare risposta. L’asceta non potendo aiutarli, iniziò a ricorrere alla preghiera chiedendo l’aiuto di sant’Eufemia, un’antica santa del IV secolo alla quale era devoto. Passato un certo tempo in cui chiedeva questo aiuto, un pomeriggio sentì bussare alla porta della sua casetta. Alla sua domanda chi fosse, una voce femminile risposte: “Sono io, Eufemia”. “Eufemia, chi?”, riprese l’asceta. Si fece silenzio e la visitatrice riprese a bussare. L’asceta chiese nuovamente chi fosse e gli fu risposto al medesimo modo. Ad un certo punto, il monaco vide la figura della visitatrice entrare nella sua casetta, nonostante la porta fosse rimasta chiusa. Appena Paisios si accorse che l’apparizione non era demoniaca (la santa apparsa venerò l’icona della Trinità), le chiese la soluzione ai problemi che gli erano stati posti. Poi aggiunse: “Vorrei che tu mi dicessi come hai sopportato il tuo martirio”. Al che, l’apparizione rispose: “Padre, se allora avessi saputo come sarebbe stata la vita eterna e la bellezza celeste che le anime godono nello stare vicino a Dio, onestamente avrei chiesto che il mio martirio durasse sempre, dal momento che non fu assolutamente niente in confronto dei doni della grazia di Dio!”.