The Charismatic Presence of Elder Filotheos Zervakos (†8 May)

15 May 2016

On the solemn anniversary of the Dormition of the ever-remembered Elder Filotheos Zervakos, we publish an unimpeachable testimony to his charismatic presence.

Saturday, 6 February. A visit from Mr. Papasteriadis. He was very concerned about a shadow on one of my lungs. He meant that, as things were, he couldn’t undertake my case. After he left, I thought: ‘It seems that the doctors have done what they can; for anything else I have to depend on God’s grace. Give me my stole and the cross with the portion of the Holy Tree. Lord, no-one makes intercession on their own behalf, but I’m alone and I’ll do it’. I hold Fr. Filotheos’ undershirt against my chest and make a short entreaty for the forgiveness and health of my unworthy self…


Monday 8 February. Visit from His Eminence, the Metropolitan of Paronaxia. The room has a sweet odour, like that of Fr. Filotheos’ undershirt. By evening, the undershirt in the suitcase has gotten through to me three times. At 11 at night, a visitor from Sinaï, Fr. Nikodimos, was forced to say, all by himself, that ‘Some icon in here’s giving off a sweet smell’. I tell him it’s Fr. Filotheos’ undershirt, which I’ve been trying all day to keep in the suitcase, because the scent’s so intense and heavy, like that of firs and other resin-producing trees in the dense forests on high mountains. We take the undershirt out and leave it until half-past two in the morning, with the thought that perhaps it was there to oxygenize and cleanse the lungs.

Fr. Symeon stayed the night.

Tuesday, 9 February 1993. Chest X-ray from the side. Lungs absolutely clear. Decide to leave tomorrow, but put it off because the Hospital of Nikaia is on duty. In any case, today, 9 February, I feel much better and can shuffle along a bit by myself.