Elder Porphyrios

Elder Porphyrios, a Greek monk and priest who died in 1991, stands in the long tradition of charismatic spiritual guides in the Eastern Church which continues from the apostolic age down to figures such as Saint Seraphim of Sarov and Staretz Silouan in modern times. In this book he teHs the story of bis life and, in simple, deeply reflected and profoundly wise words, he expounds the Christian faith for today.

The vibrant personality of Elder Porphyrios at aH times shines through bis words with great transparency and charm. In bis introduction to the Greek edition Bishop Irenaeus of Chania writes: 'The words of blessed Elder Porphyrios afe the words of a holy Father, of a man with the gift of clear sight, who was ever retiring, humble, simple and ardent and whose life was a true and authentic witness to Christ, to His truth and to His joy. Through bis presence, love, prayer, counsel and guidance he supported an untold number of people in the difficult hours of illness, mourning, pain, loss of faith and death. He is a god-bearing Father of our days, a true priest and teacher who in bis ascetic way feH in love with Christ and faithfuHy served bis feHow mano His teaching is deeply impregnated with the ethos and theology of the Orthodox Church and is dominated by the person and image of Christ our Saviour.



The text of this book was given to us by the monk Agapios a little while after the venerable repose of Elder Porphyrios. F or various reasons, we suppressed our lave far Elder Porphyrios and as in the case of various other similar texts, we did not publish it. However, the constant requests of friends and colleagues that we publish all material gathered about Elder Porphyrios overcame our reservations. And thus, with this book, we begin slowly to publish all such information far the benefit of pious Christians and far the glory of God. F or a better understanding of the text, we are adding footnotes.


T he contents of this book come from an archive of notes and recordings compiled by two women who knew Elder Porphyrios far a period of more than three decades. Throughout this time they kept a record of
his conversations, his reminiscences and his words of spiritual guidance. When, some ten years after the elder's death, these two women became nuns at the convent of Chrysopigi in Chania in western Crete, the archive was placed at the disposal of the convent.
Under the guidance of the abbess of the community, Mother Theoxeni, the material that had been collected was carefully transcribed and edited in such a way as to allow Elder Porphyrios to speak far himself. The prime concern was to present the words exactly as spoken, preserving their immediacy and authenticity. At the same time, however, the materia!, often collected at very diverse times and in different contexts, was arranged into chapters according to subject matter in arder to make it more accessible.