Saint Porphyrios of Alexandria was a monk who lived on the mountain of Mount Athos. However, when he was 18 he contracted pleurisy and was sent to a monastery outside of Athos for treatment. At the monastery on Evia, he met Archbishop Porphyrios of Sinai, who ordained him as a priest. He later served as a spiritual confessor for the faithful and a clairvoyant.
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The Orthodox Saint Porphyrios is a popular figure among Orthodox Christians for his role in the fight against the devil. He was also the patron saint of people who suffer from addictions. A mother of an explosive teenager once asked the elder Porphyrios for help. Her son had been the best student in primary, junior high, and senior high school. Her perfectionism had led to many problems in her son’s life. The mother was so overbearing and demanding that her son was not able to focus on lessons.
In addition to his great spiritual gifts, the Orthodox Saint Porphyrios was a man of great humility. He was the spiritual father of the people of Evia until 1940. He received many people for confession on a daily basis, sometimes for hours on end without a break. His reputation spread rapidly throughout the surrounding region. As a result, many people began flocking to the Holy Monastery of Lefkon, which is close to Avlona. His work was often tireless and his prayer was nonstop.
In November of 2013, the Greek Orthodox Church announced the canonization of the Venerable Elder Porphyrios. This Greek monk was born in 1906 and lived most of his life as a priest in Athens. He grew up tending sheep in the hills of Greece and was inspired by the life of Saint Joint the Hut-Dweller to enter the monastic life.
His canonization is a major step in the history of the Church. His life lasted from 1906 to 1991. The name Porphyrios was derived from his Greek name, which means “good-willed”. The name of the saint is an acronym for the word porphyrios, which means “a good-willed one.” He was an exemplary monk, who lived in an unremarkable place.
The Orthodox saint Porphyrios lived in Greece in the early 20th century and experienced many health challenges over his lifetime. He lost his vision in the late 1980s and was completely blind by the time he passed away. While he had many health challenges, he wanted to return to his monastery on Mount Athos and receive Holy Confession and the Holy Eucharist. But because of his poor health, he was forced to return home.
Although he was a poor man with little formal education, the elder Porphyrios was wise in the spirit and overcame many challenges throughout his life. He lived in many places throughout Greece, including his last six months on Mount Athos.
Conversion to Orthodoxy
In Greek legend, a man named Saint Porphyrios converted to Orthodoxy. During the Second World War, he moved to Athens where he served as a chaplain and confessor at the Polyclinic Hospital. There, he led liturgies and heard confessions. He also ministered to the patients and hospital staff.
The story of his conversion is a fascinating one. In the midst of his persecution, Porphyrios led a troupe to perform a mock baptism. The pagans watched, chortling in anticipation of a good time at the expense of Christians. The troupe included a professional cast of buffoons, dressed as priests and bishops. Porphyrios remained in reserve while a convert was baptized.
In the year 395, the local bishop of Gaza died and the local Christians asked Porphyrios to be their new bishop. The young man, who was a presbyter in Jerusalem, accepted the position with fear. He even prostrated himself before the Life-Creating Wood.
Life on Mount Athos
The Orthodox saint Porphyrios, who spent his last six months on Mount Athos, lived a humble and difficult life. He was born in a poor household and received little formal education. His spiritual gifts were well-known and he served as a priest at the Polyclinic Hospital in Athens for 33 years. At the age of 66, he founded the Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration. Although he had lived in several places around Greece, he stayed on Mount Athos, where he spent his final six months.
His parents were poor farmers. He grew up in a small village called Agios Ioannis. His mother was the daughter of Antonios Lambrou and he spent only two years at school. During his early years, he helped his parents in the family’s business and later, at a local coal mine. His father had moved to the nearby city of Pira to work on the Panama Canal.