Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Holy Mountain, Pt 4: Elder Gabriel

Back to the Holy Mountain (Agion Oros).

On Monday evening, we went to visit Elder Gabriel (in Greek, pronounced Gav-REEL), who has a cell not far from Elder Paisios' old cell. Among the Greeks, Elder Gabriel is considered Elder Paisios' successor, a living saint.

He is a wonderfully simple, joyous monk. He took us inside his cell and into his little chapel to show us his miraculous icon, which is well known in the churches in Greece. Amazingly, it's simply a paper icon of the Theotokos holding the Christ child, and it is wet with myrrh. I've never seen anything like it. He let us venerate it and I could feel that it was just paper soaked with myrrh. Incredible! He gave us each cottons soaked with myrrh to take with us.

To Fr. Alexios' delight, he also let us have a photograph with him, which is apparently quite rare. The top photo is of us walking down to his cell. The middle photo, from left to right, is: Kyr Niko, Kyr Panagioti, Hristos (in front), Fr. Christodoulos, Elder Gabriel, me, Fr. Alexios. At bottom is a photo of Fr. Alexios talking with the elder. I'm going to print it and try to get a frame for him.

No comments: