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Spiritual Eyes: The Reality of the Unseen


A shocking encounter with Elder Iakavos of Evia

The following is a dialogue between Klitos Ioannidis and Dr. George Papazahos.  Dr. Papazahos was a cardiologist in Athens, Greece and was the personal physician of Saint Porphyrios.  Klitos Ioannidies is the author of books about Saint Porphyrios.  In fact, the book that I used to translate into English was authored by Klitos Ioannidis.  In that book about Saint Porphyrios “Elder Porphyrios, Testimonies and Experiences,” there is a whole chapter about the doctor’s personal experiences with the Saint.  I found this article especially interesting because the doctor apparently had a very close doctor/patient relationship with this other Saint of the Church.  Elder Iakovos was a contemporary of Saint Porphyrios and they would often communicate with one another in prayer.  In fact, when Elder Iakovos died, Saint Porphyrios was not able to attend his funeral. In spite of his physical absence from the funeral Porphyrios managed to be present at the funeral through his powers of spiritual communication.  When I say spiritual communication, I mean that Saint Porphyrios was literally present at the funeral in spirit and observed everything that took place at that funeral service. This event is referred to by Saint Porphyrios in the book that I translated.

This following is being translated from the Greek by:

+Fr. Constantine (Charles) J. Simones, January 12, 2015.


KLITOS IOANNIDIS:  Mr. Papazahos, how did you get to know Fr. Iakovos?

GEORGE PAPAZAHOS:  He was admitted to the Government Hospital of Athens for the problems he was having with his heart.  As soon as I heard that he was in the hospital, I went to see him.  It was the day when they moved him from the Intensive Care Unit to a room that had three beds and a cot.  They put the Elder on the cot.  My first impression when I first saw him was something that cannot be described.  If I told you that he was a man who was literally glowing is missing the point.  His appearance was quite something else.  He literally was filled with light.   When I entered his room, other doctors were there making their daily rounds with their patients.  Coincidentally the doctors there were my former students from the University.  As soon as they saw me, they approached me and apprised me of the condition of the Elder.  When they finished and left the room, I went and sat next to the Elder Iakovos.  As soon as the Elder saw me, he made the following observation about me which literally made my hair stand on end.     As a Christian I had never thought about this before.

He said to me: “I do not know you.  This is the first time that I meet you.  But I can see your guardian angel standing behind you.”  That which he said literally shook me up.  I do not say this out of pride, and then he added: “All human beings have guardian angels and I now see your guardian angel.  Be very careful that you never act in such a way that you chase away your guardian angel from your presence.”  I get the chills every time I think of what he said to me when I met him for the first time.  The Elder Iakovos finished his statement by saying: “That angel has been assigned to you from the day of your baptism.  From the day of your baptism he accompanies you and he should never leave your side.  It is he who will finally take your soul into his hands and will guide it until the Day of the Great Judgment.  While guiding you to the Judgment the demons will attempt to bad mouth your acts in life.  They will say to the angel ‘he did this evil deed and he did that sin. The guardian angel will defend your soul by responding that he also did this good act and that good deed.  He is your lawyer and he will aggressively defend you.  Therefore, be careful; do not ever distance yourself from him.  I saw that he was close to you.”  From that very moment I never forget that next to me I am being escorted in life by my personal guardian angel.  This is a great message of joy to all those of us who have been baptized as Orthodox Christians.

KLITOS IOANNIDIS: That was truly an amazing experience Mr. Papazahos, that the Elder Iakovos was able to see your guardian angel.

GEORGE PAPAZAHOS:  When I encountered the Elder Iakovos, I had the feeling that I was in another world.  He spoke about my problems in a very different way, making me realize that although he was next to me, he was living in another dimension.  And that filled me with a feeling of joy.

KLITOS IOANNIDIS:  He was coming from another place.

GEORGE PAPAZAHOS:  He would inform you that we were created to dwell someplace else other than this world.

This dialogue is taken from the book “Contemporary Saints” by Raphael Xilotimpou.  The book was printed on the Island of Cyprus in 1994.



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