IAKOVOS TSALIKIS…..  “I saw your guardian angel”
            The following is a dialogue between Klitos Ioannidis and Dr. George Papazahos.  Dr. Papazahos was a cardiologist in Athens, Greece and was the personal physician of Saint Porphyrios.  Klitos Ioannidies is the author of books about Saint Porphyrios.  In fact, the book that I used to translate into English was authored by Klitos Ioannidis.  In that book about Saint Porphyrios “Elder Porphyrios, Testimonies and Experiences,” there is a whole chapter about the doctor’s personal experiences with the Saint.  I found this article especially interesting because the doctor apparently had a very close doctor/patient relationship with this other Saint of the Church.  Elder Iakovos was a contemporary of Saint Porphyrios and they would often communicate with one another in prayer.  In fact, when Elder Iakovos died, Saint Porphyrios was not able to attend his funeral. In spite of his physical absence from the funeral Porphyrios managed to be present at the funeral through his powers of spiritual communication.  When I say spiritual communication, I mean that Saint Porphyrios was literally present at the funeral in spirit and observed everything that took place at that funeral service. This event is referred to by Saint Porphyrios in the book that I translated.
This following is being translated from the Greek by:
+Fr. Constantine (Charles) J. Simones, January 12, 2015, Waterford, CT, 860-460-9089, 


KLITOS IOANNIDIS:  Mr. Papazahos, how did you get to know Fr. Iakovos? 

GEORGE PAPAZAHOS:  He was admitted to the Government Hospital of Athens for the problems he was having with his heart.  As soon as I heard that he was in the hospital, I went to see him.  It was the day when they moved him from the Intensive Care Unit to a room that had three beds and a cot.  They put the Elder on the cot.  My first impression when I first saw him was something that cannot be described.  If I told you that he was a man who was literally glowing is missing the point.  His appearance was quite something else.  He literally was filled with light.   When I entered his room, other doctors were there making their daily rounds with their patients.  Coincidentally the doctors there were my former students from the University.  As soon as they saw me, they approached me and apprised me of the condition of the Elder.  When they finished and left the room, I went and sat next to the Elder Iakovos.  As soon as the Elder saw me, he made the following observation about me which literally made my hair stand on end.     As a Christian I had never thought about this before. 

            He said to me: “I do not know you.  This is the first time that I meet you.  But I can see your guardian angel standing behind you.”  That which he said literally shook me up.  I do not say this out of pride, and then he added: “All human beings have guardian angels and I now see your guardian angel.  Be very careful that you never act in such a way that you chase away your guardian angel from your presence.”  I get the chills every time I think of what he said to me when I met him for the first time.  The Elder Iakovos finished his statement by saying: “That angel has been assigned to you from the day of your baptism.  From the day of your baptism he accompanies you and he should never leave your side.  It is he who will finally take your soul into his hands and will guide it until the Day of the Great Judgment.  While guiding you to the Judgment the demons will attempt to bad mouth your acts in life.  They will say to the angel ‘he did this evil deed and he did that sin. The guardian angel will defend your soul by responding that he also did this good act and that good deed.  He is your lawyer and he will aggressively defend you.  Therefore, be careful; do not ever distance yourself from him.  I saw that he was close to you.”  From that very moment I never forget that next to me I am being escorted in life by my personal guardian angel.  This is a great message of joy to all those of us who have been baptized as Orthodox Christians. 

KLITOS IOANNIDIS: That was truly an amazing experience Mr. Papazahos, that the Elder Iakovos was able to see your guardian angel. 

GEORGE PAPAZAHOS:  When I encountered the Elder Iakovos, I had the feeling that I was in another world.  He spoke about my problems in a very different way, making me realize that although he was next to me, he was living in another dimension.  And that filled me with a feeling of joy.

KLITOS IOANNIDIS:  He was coming from another place.

GEORGE PAPAZAHOS:  He would inform you that we were created to dwell someplace else other than this world. 

This dialogue is taken from the book “Contemporary Saints” by Raphael Xilotimpou.  The book was printed on the Island of Cyprus in 1994.



            With a great deal of emotion I would like to share with you an event that took place at the Monastery of Saint David forty five years ago.  At that time I was living with my parents in the village of Kokkinomilia.  It is a beautiful place in northern Evia.   It is a mountainous place with a great view of the Aegean Ocean.  At that time I was a cantor for the villages of Koulouri and Marouli, two adjacent small villages filled with life and beauty. 

            On October 31, 1960, my wife and I decided to visit the Monastery of Saint David.  We wanted to do this because it was the feast day of the Saint.  Travel at that time was made either by mule or by walking.  Our daughter suddenly got sick and this made us cancel our pilgrimage.  Even though our daughter got better that night, our trip was canceled. 

            On December 5, 1960, on the eve of the Feast Day of St. Nicholas, we embarked upon the pilgrimage that we had canceled previously.  When we got to the Monastery we met thirty other pilgrims from the central part of Evia, from the village of St. Ann. When we arrived at the Monastery we met the Abbot Fr. Cyril who today serves the Monastery.   At that time he was a layman and he was with his mother.   Fr. Cyril was on leave at that time from his army duty.  The Vesper Service that evening was being served by Fr. Iakovos Tsalikis and Fr. Gregory who today is the priest in our village of St. Ann.  We were informed by them that there was a twelve year old girl present who was having conversations with Saint David.

            Her first contact with the Saint took place in the Church of Saint Ann on the occasion when the relics of St. David were being offered for the faithful to reverence.  At this vigil at St. Ann’s Church the twelve year old girl suddenly saw Saint David and began a conversation with him.  This encounter was later repeated again at the Monastery of Saint David.  We were greatly astonished by this.  We were witnessing the converstaion and we could tell by the answers the girl was giving to St. David what he was saying to her.  Please note that while this was going on we never saw the Saint nor heard his voice. 

            We now offer to you the amazing conversation which greatly impacted our lives.  The Saint said: “Your teacher Mantz…..is sinful. ‘No, holy one, he is a good person” answered the girl.  “Yes, a day will come when he will repent and through his preaching two thousand people will believe in Jesus Christ,” said the Saint.  The Saint asked the girl if she wanted to see hell.  Her answer was positive.  “Yes, I would like to see hell and those who dwell there.” We would like to point out at this point that while this was going on the girl was in a trance.  They immediately found themselves in hell.  The girl was horrified with what she saw and she yelled out; “Holy one take me out of here because I cannot endure to watch the suffering.”  But before they left the girl asked the Saint to explain to her a particular fearful sight that she was watching.  “Why is that woman eating her child?”  “Because in the world she gave birth to the child and then she killed it,” answered the Saint.  She again begged the Saint to take her from that place because she could not stand to look upon that fearful sight.  We could tell from the scared look on her face the terrible things she was seeing.

            Saint David then asked her:  “Do you now want to see the chosen ones in Heaven?”  “Yes, holy one,” was her answer.  They suddenly found themselves in Heaven.  The girl said: “Holy one, how bright the sun is here and how beautiful the roses are.  Holy one, how come some of the roses have blossomed, some are half open and some are closed?”  Saint David responded: “The open roses are the pure souls of Christians.  The half open roses are the souls of Christians that are not so pure. Those that are closed are the souls of those who do not believe.”  The girl asked: “Holy one why are those people with the white wings sweeping the roads?”  Saint David responded: “Those angels who are sweeping the streets are preparing them for the soul of Fr. Iakovos to pass by.” Fr. Iakovos was with them on this spiritual journey and he heard all these things.  The girl asked: “Will the soul of Fr. Iakovos come by soon?” “His arrival will be greatly delayed because he must hear the confessions of the people?”  I then saw Fr. Iakovos wiping his tears with his handkerchief.

            During the course of the conversation a bus arrived with about thirty five passengers.  They all entered the Church.  When they entered the Church they found the people in the Church standing in absolute silence. This aroused their curiosity and they asked us what was happening.  We told them that we were living a miracle.  We are listening to a conversation the girl is having with Saint David.  They laughed and made fun of us.  Suddenly the dialogue of the girl and the Saint stopped.  Perplexed, the girl asked the Saint: “Holy one, why are you leaving; is it because the souls of the Christians are not clean?”  He responded saying: “The bus that just arrived with thirty five people is filled with disbelievers except for one elderly woman who is eighty five.  It is because of her piety that the bus has arrived safely.” “What did you say Holy one?”  “There is an Athenian on the bus who is tall and bald.  He has a dog that he feeds better than he does his child.  Many poor people who came to him for help are turned away by him.”  We understood what was being said by the Saint by hearing the questions of the girl. 

            The man that was described by the girl approached me and asked:  “What is this place that we are visiting?”  “It is the Monastery of Saint David,” I responded.  “But the man that was described by the girl is me.  How does she know these things about me?”  This man took his wife’s hand, they went and stood before the icon of Saint David and said to the Saint: “Unknown Saint, I do not know who you are but I want to thank you for I have found faith in God in this wilderness.” 

            The girl directed her attention to those who had entered the Church and said: “I request those of you whose souls are burdened with sins must leave the Church because the Saint does not want to look upon you.”  The passengers of the bus left the Church for they did not want to stay any longer.  As soon as they left the dialogue of the Saint and the girl continued.  The time was now past midnight.  “Holy one do not leave, I am not tired,” said the girl and immediately she continued.  “Oh, at three o’clock you will perform a miracle?” She rubbed her eyes and turning to her friend next to her, said: “I am falling asleep.”  “Yes, you are falling asleep,” she answered.  “Forgive me, Holy one, I have come here to honor you and I am falling asleep,” she said to herself.  At that moment we realized that she was unaware of all the things that were happening to her. 

            We, in anticipation, were waiting for the miracle to happen at three o’clock which the Saint had previously announced.  It was 2:45 a.m. and the bells of the Monastery began to ring joyously.  We all rushed outside to see who was ringing them. They were ringing by themselves.  We believed that this was the miracle that we were waiting for.  We again entered the Church.  The time was now 3 a.m.  Suddenly all of our attention was focused on the upper part of the icon screen.  High up near a small window on the white wall appeared a shadow which attracted our attention like a magnet.  We asked ourselves, why is that black shadow on the wall attracting our attention?   We then saw the head of Saint David appear with his white beard, exactly as he is depicted in his icon.  In fact, we could also now see his stole with two or three crosses on it.  He was moving his head.  He was holding the censor in his hand and he began censing.  We could hear the little bells on the censor ringing loudly. Tears of compunction filled our eyes.  We beseeched the Saint to have mercy on us.  Our tears flowed continuously.  The Saint held the censor in his left hand and he blessed us with his right hand.  I confess that I will remember this for as long as I live and I will not forget the sweetness of his face.  It was a sweetness that brought joy to our souls.  At the moment that the Saint bent over to kiss the girl, he yelled out loudly: “My Holy Mother, my Christ.  Jesus is passing by.  The Holy Mother is passing by along with Saint Basil the Great, Saint John Chrysostom, Saint George, and Saint Demetrius.”  He continued to announce a whole host of Saints for a long time as they passed in review.

            We could only see Saint David who was bowing before the procession.  We could not see anything of what the girl was talking about.  Amongst other things I would like to share with you an equally unbelievable incident that happened to my wife that evening.  She was holding our little girl in her arms that whole night without getting tired.  At one point, when she attempted to get a better look at the Saint she felt that the child had become unbearably heavy.  She attempted to put the child down but it remained in her arms even though she was no longer holding it.  Saint David remained visible to the naked eye for a whole hour in the Church.  “My children here is the Saint, he is here near us.  You should ask him to help you always.  Let us now start the Matins Service that will be followed by the Divine Liturgy.”

            At the end of the Divine Liturgy I conversed with the young soldier and my friend who is now the Abbot of the Monastery, Fr. Cyril.  “Costa did you see what happened tonight,” I said.  “Yes Steve, these are living things, I am shocked by them. As you see I am a soldier and I say to you now that when I am discharged from the army I will come here immediately.  I will not go back to my village.  I want to serve the Saint who appeared to us tonight and I have seen him alive with my own eyes.  What other proof do I need?”  And finally, this is the way it happened.  When he was discharged from the army he went directly to the Monastery.  Today he is the Abbot of the Monastery of Saint David. 

            I pray with my whole soul that he will always be worthy of his calling.  I pray that Saint David and his predecessor Fr. Iakovos will grant him the strength, the patience and good health to serve the faithful who journey to this harbor of faith so that they may find peace for their souls.