Each year on this day, July 12th, the Greek Orthodox faithful honor Saint Paisios, one of the most beloved figures in the Church.
Known for his incredible prophesies, countless miracles, deep understanding of the love of God, and mysticism, Saint Paisios is among the most venerated of all the saints in the Church. He is extremely popular around the Orthodox world but particularly in Greece, Cyprus, and Russia.
Born in Cappadocia, Turkey in 1924, Saint Paisios fled to Greece with his family as refugees after the population exchange between Turkey and Greece soon after his birth. The exchange had been formalized in 1923 but continued into the following year.
After completing his service as a radio operator during the Greek Civil War in 1950, Saint Paisios followed his vocation for monasticism and went to live on Mt. Athos.
Mt. Athos, located on a spectacularly beautiful, mountainous peninsula in northern Greece, is known internationally for its many important monasteries, as well as its ban on female visitors.
Saint Paisios was canonized in 2015
While at Mt. Athos, Saint Paisios dedicated his life to helping others; he is also venerated for his deeply spiritual and ascetic life.
During his life, the saint made many famous predictions regarding world events and politics, including a future war between Turkey and Russia that would lead to Greece expanding her borders to areas that had been Greek in antiquity.
He wrote four books, published by the Holy Monastery Saint John the Theologian: Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian (1991), Elder Hadji-Georgis the Athonite, 1809-1886 (1986), Athonite Fathers and Athonite Matters (1993) and Letters (1994).
Saint Paisios passed away at the age of 69 in 1994. He was canonized in 2015 by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The church commemorates his feast day on July 12th. Every year, thousands of worshipers travel to Thessaloniki in order to pay their respects to Saint Paisios, whose tomb is located at the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian.
TV Series about life of St. Paisios
A TV series on the story of Saint Paisios of Greece which began airing in February on MEGA TV had audiences glued to their sets.
The television series includes big names in the world of Greek theater, television, and cinema, including Prokopis Agathokleous, who is playing Saint Paisios.
It was not easy to play Saint Paisios, Agathokleous told MEGA TV. “I came in contact with people and Fathers who knew him. I got their guidance so I could play the role. Exploring his personality made me feel very familiar,” he added.
“I wanted to discover his human side because that was what defined him and made him a saint after death,” Agathokleous said. “His contact with the world was all his holiness. He himself said that he wanted a quiet and peaceful life, dedicated to God. Nevertheless, he was completely dedicated to the world.”
Most of the filming of the life of Saint Paisios, who is widely venerated around the world but especially in Greece and Russia, took place in Konitsa, a town near Ioannina in the region of Epirus, where Paisios spent most of his life before becoming a monk on Mt. Athos.