On the occasion of the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque, we republish a recent post about what Agios Paisios the Agioritis said to Anestis Mavrocephalos about the events that will precede the surrender of Constantinople to the Greeks, as well as some of those that will follow.
As our origin is from Cappadocia and one of our grandmothers comes from the village of Geronta, from Farasa, while the other from Caesarea, we have common roots with the Elder, and because those places hurt us especially now that they are in foreign hands, I kept asking the Elder about Turkey, what about Hellenism and more about it.
Once, I went to the geronta with a friend of mine and there we met a group of five children. At the time, I asked the Elder what he planned to be in relation to Turkey. “Geronta” I say, “we’re from Alexandroupolis. Did we get caught up in the rain there?” he replies, “Look. The Turks will not enter Alexandroupolis. They will only make one challenge in Greece, which will be related to the aeyalitis zone. And we’re going to starve us. Greece will starve. And this starvation will last for some time, it will be months.”
Then I ask, “Geronta, how am I going to figure out that we’re going to be close to war?” “When,” he says, “you hear the TV become a matter of miles, for extending the miles (of the aeyalitis zone) from 6 to 12 miles, then from behind comes the war. It’s coming. I say, “And which states will participate?” “Look, after the challenge of the Turks, the Russians will descend to the Dlispontus Straits. Not to help us. They’ll have other interests. But without wanting to, they’ll help us. Then, the Turks, in order to defend the Straits, which are of strategic importance, will concentrate more troops there. At the same time, they will withdraw forces from occupied territories. But then they will see the other states of Europe, namely England, France, Italy and six or seven other EEC states, that Russia will grab parts, so they will say: ‘We’re not going there, do we get a piece?’ This will put Europeans in the war.”
At this point I ask: “What are we going to do? Will the Greek army take part in this war?” “No,” he says. “The government will make a decision not to send troops. He’ll only keep an army at the border. And it’s going to be a great blessing that he won’t take part. Because whoever takes part in this war is gone… Then, because in Greece the world will be afraid, many will turn to the Church, to God, and repent. That’s why, because there will be repentance, the Greeks will not be hurt. God will spare Greece, because the world will turn to the Church, to the Monasticism and begin to pray. And many Turks will be baptized. Then, King Constantine will contribute as a intermediary, to give the City to Greece. He’s reverent, he’s good.” “Old man,” I ask him afterwards, “Will the City give it to us?” “They will give it to us, not because they will want it, but because this solution will serve the interests of foreigners. Then they’ll understand that. What I’m telling you, don’t tell anyone. They’re going to make you crazy. Because the circumstances aren’t ripe yet. Then you’ll know.” This conversation with the Elder took place in 1991, when I was serving in the army.
Another time, Gerontas said, “The administration of the City, by us, will be both military and political.” I also met three officers who had gone to the Elder. Of the three officers, one said: “Only to me, Gerontas said I would be commander of a military division in the City. He didn’t mention anything to the others.’
Another group had gone to the Elder. One of them was studying civil engineering at xanthi Polytechnic University. In an instant, elder turns, points his finger – he, it should be noted, went to the Elder for the first time – and tells him: “You, as a civil engineer, will contribute to the reconstruction of the City, for the City will be rebuilt from the beginning”. He turned around and pointed his finger in front of everyone. The kid, then, was a student. Then the Elder turns to me and says, “And you, Anestis, will go to the City. And you two – show me and my friend – will go to the City, but for another purpose.” He didn’t show me the purpose. After that, I got the urge to learn Turkish.
Another time I’d been to the Elder’s cell, there happened to be a former Muslim from Thrace inside. I catch him and say, “How did you come here to the Elder?” “Let go,” he says, “let me tell you. The Elder did us a very great miracle and my whole family believed. Then he came to the village and made sure we were baptized.”
And on another visit to Panagouda, the Muslim who was baptized, Stavros, was present. Then, again, elder told us about the events, how they would evolve with Istanbul. And when he got to the point where Greece would hurt and said that we would be touched by hunger, Says Mr. Stavros: “Old man, can I keep a bag of flour so that I can face that period and not starve the children?” “No,” he says, “don’t call, because your neighbor will have flour and give you”! In other words, the Elder foreed who would help Mr. Stavros in the period of hunger. He will, of course, live in a village. Now, we who live in the cities, we’ll say bread bun. So, another time, Elder said, “Have a little land and a little to cultivate it. Close to you, you will also help someone who will not have.”