In the first interview, Fr. Ioannis Meggoulis talks about his encounter with St. Paisios at the time he and his young friends were converted to Hinduism and wanted to break a big rock into pieces. This is the testimony of a direct witness. Fr. Ioannis is now an Orthodox elder at the Holy Metochion of Taxiarch Archangel Michael of the Holy Monastery of Saint George of Examili, Greece.
Video source: Gus Tsin, 2019
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Interview with Ioannis Meggoulis, elder at the holy metochion of Taxiarch Archangel Michael of the Holy Monastery of Saint George of Examili (former Hindu monk).
I had visited the monastery of Stavronikita [on Mt. Athos]. I had gone there with Pavlos Gontikakis, brother of Basileios and some other friends. And there were the two of us, the prodigals.
I and George Diolinas. George Dialinas had also experimented with Sai Baba.
Sai Baba helped him and he made a big fortune in New Delhi and other things.
From a point onwards, the monks in Stavronikita monastery encouraged us to go visit some ascetics.
Today, I understand how much we had wear them down along with all the nonsense we were talking. Today, I realize that.
Among other things, we visited elder Paisios. A monk led us to him, not because we would lose our way [going there], but because we were out of our minds from every aspect and because “the wicked one” [i.e. the Devil] knows how to do his job well. We have to admit that.
We reached there. George Dialinas started talking [to St. Paisios] about Sai Baba and other relevant stuff.
He was provoking St. Paisios. What are you supposed to be doing here [on Mt. Athos]?
You are a lazy one …. while we do these things for the world and we need to be there and many other things.
We were used to say these same things with every chance [we got].
And he says Sai baba does that with his hand and [is able to] bring a Rolex forward.
Does that and he heals a man.
He said a lot of other things [to St. Paisios] and finally we came to this:
We can also move mountains. Can you move this stone? A rock about 4-5 cubic [meters].
Elder Paisios was obviously annoyed.
I was not talking. Although, they had told him about me as well…
He could not help us because we had the demons. Especially, George had gone to far.
And Elder Paisios [decided] to engage with us, only to help us, to bring us to our sense. For no other reason.
Then, George was trying hard to say a mantra, a secret prayer and some other things in order to shred the rock into pieces.
Despite his huge efforts, he could do nothing.
Then—for you to see who is Christ—exclusively for pedagogical reasons,
Saint Paisios signed the rock with the sign of the Cross three times.
“In the name of the Holy, Consubstantial, Life-giving and Undivided Trinity…”
The third time … [noise] …the rock was shred into pieces, as if there was a dynamite inside it.
And for proving the things I said. The monk that was with us run alarmed to the monastery and said to the elder [of the monastery] what happened. The elder start asking questions:
“What happened Gianni [the person in the video]?”
I was confused. On the one side, I am on a good path right now, however, all previous have been overturned in a moment. I had to process this.
Infinite conversations followed in the monastery. This event was made public to the cell, the elder had come and the lay people and we were discussing.
Then, a hieromonk “discovered”, “brought into the surface” some demons George had inside him.
When I said “I know [about this]” with his hands Taxiarch [Archangel] Michael saved me and this is how in St. Paraskevi, in the morning, he took the holy myrrh.
And the things I say are published in [the papers] Orthodoxos Typos, Synodos and so on.
On top of that, chanter in the church [of St. Paraskevi] that the holy myrrh was taken was father Charalambos who is now at Kifissias, Youth centre, he has lived all these, he saw them.
I personally testified that I know [we are possessed] by many demons which are really powerful and I explained them why.
Then, George changed his voice and the demon [possessing him] started talking.
A conversation of a lot of hours until the time for the Midnight Service (“Mesonyktikon”) arrived. We had to go down for the Service.
At some point, I abandoned the fathers, George, the lay people because I had a need to rest. I sat on some bench there.
I started listening to voices and fuss. The fathers were in the narthex [of the church] with George.
I go there to find out what is going on.
Two persons were pulling George from the one side, another two from the other side so that he would touch and venerate the Holy Icon of Panagia in the narthex of the church.
He would reach as close to 50cm [1.6 ft] to the Holy Icon of Panagia but no power could push him to touch Panagia.
From then on, started the big troubles. I repeat that this happened some hours after [the meeting] with Saint Paisios.
The demons had flared up!
The abbot went there, he tried, some other ascetics also tried, nothing ….
In the morning, we spent the whole night on the benches, from what we heard by fr. Antonios, the elder said that we should do a Litany, we will take all the holy relics outside the church and the holy water outside the church as well.
I liked this because I had never seen it before … and all the holy relics of the monastery.
So we went outside and he read prayers both for me and George.
At some point, during the sprinkling with the holy water, a drop of holy water fell on the head of George Dialinas.
Then, he started screaming … not with his own voice
He took off his clothes, the underwear as well, and he started running into the wood.
He was screaming: “I am burning, ….” and a lot of other things.
I collapsed. We were all upset … and I wanted to leave because all this had destroyed me, had exhausted me. Because, as you understand, I had to fight with a lot of things of my past …
We arrived at Athens. We had to hold George [during the trip].
At dawn, George fell off a building at Exarcheia. He committed suicide.
[The paper] Eleftherotypia of the time makes mention to the incident of Mt. Athos and the fact that he committed suicide.
I was a witness to this from the first moment.
Afterwards, I preferred not to go to the graveyard, you understand …
One of the many [experiences] with elder Paisios who helped me, because I had already taken some steps with the blessing of elder Porphyrios.
And I had made a start. You do realize that if late father Antonios Alevizopoulos with father Kyriakou and his team had not taken me at Kallisia on [mountain] Penteli [to see Saint Porphyrios], I don’t know if I would be here today given the condition I was in.
I was saved literally from death’s door. Other people who were in my place did not make it.
I made it not thanks to myself but because I had the prayers of the elders, the assurance by elder Porphyrios: “Do not be worried, you will say the Jesus prayer” and “I will pray with my prayer rope for you”.
Thus, the Taxiarch [Archangel] Michael, himself, appeared and cast away with his sword the demons.
I cannot thank enough … the only thing I can say from the depths of my heart: “Glory to God!”.