In the third interview, Fr. Ioannis Meggoulis talks about his encounter with the devil in the night before he received the sacrament of Chrismation in the Orthodox Church. Fr. Ioannis is now an Orthodox-Christian elder at the Holy Metochion of Taxiarch Archangel Michael of the Holy Monastery of Saint George of Examili, Greece.
Video source: Gus Tsin, 2020
Fr. Ioannis Meggoulis:
I thank you so much for coming to the church and the Holy Monastery of Taxiarch [Archangel] Michael where my repentance “lies”.
Here, every day we perform the Divine Liturgy and receive people [who visit us] so that we thank Christ.
I am [glad] to be able to provide answers to the great number of questions that our young people and others—who resort to oriental religions—want to ask.
Thank you also for the question which is one of the basic events that made me change my way.
When the Church, father Antonios Alevizopoulos and some of his colleagues had recommended me—and this is how the affiliation with the elder, now Saint, Porphyrios had started as well as Saint Paisios.
Further to what has been said about the breaking of the rock with the sign of the cross by Saint Paisios in order to give the message to us that [we] were carrying so many, thousands of thousands, of demons and they were serving us.
Saint Paisios wanted to show us, and this is why he performed the miracle and broke the huge rock, he wanted to show us that Christ exists and the power of God, the power of Christ is far more superior to all those demonic forces that we had in our service. Besides, this is why the Saint performed the miracle.
He, himself was not in need of the miracle, we were in need of it. Thus, neither mine not George’s magic powers could work and, instantly, with a simple prayer and with the signing of the cross on the rock, everything went up in the air.
Afterwards and parallel to that, I had met a lot of holy fathers as well as the meeting, the affiliation, his prayer with Saint Porphyrios.
Then the Synod of the Church of Greece with the assent of the Theological School of Athens decided that, since I have lost the Chrismation [I had received from my baptism as an orthodox] to offer me again the holy myrrh/chrism.
For this purpose, Irenaeus Bulovic was chosen. Two days before the Divine Liturgy and the anointing of the holy myrrh of baptism—the Grace of which I had lost as I had abandoned our Christianity—I had met the holy elder Porphyrios.
There, he told me: “whatever happens do not be scared and do not be afraid. I will be there and pray with [my] prayer rope for you”.
Instantly, I asked to know what will happen, what is it that I should not be afraid of, what else will happen to me …
He told me: “When “the black one” comes, you will not be afraid, do not change your faith, continue hoping and I will be there praying [for you].”
Indeed, this time arrived … in a light and in a terrible smell, the demon appeared inside my room. As we know him, with his tail, the color, the awful smell and he was almost double the size of a man and he attacked me.
Completely terrified, I took a look at the corner of my room where Saint Porphyrios appeared who was on his knees and holding the prayer rope in his hands. He was praying.
Then, the demon did his move by telling me that I belonged to him.
Indeed, at the time “I was his”. However, since in a few hours I would change camp and through the holy myrrh, I would enter the Grace of the Church of Christ.
Then, indeed I was afraid, then came the confrontation, I thought “here is the end, I am done” and elder, Saint Porphyrios was praying with fervor, on his knees and he was looking at me the whole time.
At some point, inside my despair and the absolute fear and while my whole body was sweating, I cried out: “My Taxiarch [Archangel] Michael, please [help me]”. Surely, I did this out of habit, this is also what the fathers had told me, so I prayed and called the Taxiarch.
Suddenly, the setting in the room changed as the Taxiarch with force entered the room by saying:
“He is mine” and instantly, the demon disappeared.
Immediately, a delight and a big joy washed over me. After some other things I did in order to realize that I am alive and with a great fear, the people from St. Paraskevi from the companion of father Antonios Alevizopoulos arrived and we went to the church.
When the time arrived, elder Irenaeus said: “Thank God, we made it through the night and Ioannis is offered to our Lord”.
And this is exactly what happened. I received the holy myrrh, he made the sign of the cross on me, he anointed me with the myrrh, and this was a turning point to Orthodoxy, I found peace. And since then, in hard and in good times, I have in my thoughts Saint Porphyrios.
Saint Porphyrios supported me through many ways and, mainly, through his prayer and his blessing. Many times, I went to visit him but I did not want to bother him so I would sit some place close so I could see him even from afar.
I thank God because he placed me in this altar to be his servant with the hands, and the help and the love of our Metropolitan Cyril, Metropolitan of Kifisia, Marousi and Oropos and the great love he has to me personally, as I am a priest “by his hands”, and the love he shows to all brothers of the monastery of Taxiarch Michael.