In this video, Elder Ephraim of St. Andrew’s Skete [Mount Athos] recalls the day when Elder Gervasios Paraskeuopoulos of Patra expelled a demon from a young girl.
Video source: Ορθόδοξο μονοπάτι • Οrthodox path
Fr. Konstantinos let me tell you the following important thing which has to do with a modern
Saint, the revered and holy elder, Father Gervasios Paraskeuopoulos of Patra.
When he was still alive, father Gervasios Paraskeuopoulos who was also a spiritual child of Saint
Nektarios while he was in Rizarios school. Once, after the Holy Lent had finished and it was
afternoon of the Sunday of Easter. He performed the Liturgy and went to his room to eat his
soup, made of just egg and lemon.
Afternoon of the Sunday of Easter which had followed the Holy Lent involving a lot of ascesis
and so on. He was eating his soup with a little cheese and half a red egg. This was his meal for that day. A mother arrives, knocks his door and in tears begs the elder to help her with her daughter who had been possessed. “Come help her!”
“Let it be blessed” says the elder. He finished his soup, took his stole (“petrachelion”) and the
Prayer’s Manual (“Euxologion”) and they left.
The girl of a young age was at home inside a room, lying and she was possessed with a demon of
terrible form. When the door of the house opened, the girl being inside the room shouts:
“You [trago] priest, you come to expel me with your stomach full? No way I am leaving!” and
Fr. Gervasios and the mother listened to these words. The mother was so embarrassed and said
“My father please do not let these words insult you, my child is possessed!”
“I know, I know my child!” […] “but let us not read the prayer today, let’s come some other day to read the prayer!”
“Let it be blessed!” [said the mother]
The mother awaits, awaits … the Holy Pentecost arrives. After the Holy Pentecost, Sunday of the
Holy Spirit, on Monday the door knocks and they see a stretcher that was being held by four
men. Lying on the stretcher was father Gervasios Paraskeuopoulos who was exhausted due to a
50 days fasting period. He had completed the Lenten fast and then he went on to fast for another 50 days. “With your stomach full” right? I will show you!” the elder must have thought.
As soon as the demon possessing the girl smelled the smell of fast, tears and prayers of this holy
man, what did he say?
“I do not even want to see you! I am leaving, I am leaving, I am leaving … I do not even want to
see you!” and he left and the child was set free.
The elder stood up and said with such humility:
“My child, since the demon left, God sent him away, let us not read the prayer” and he did not
read the prayer. If only, they knew how many prayers the elder had offered for this soul!
The elder did everything in his cell, who sacrifices [himself] for one soul?
“with your stomach full…” the demon said.
Of course, the stomach of the elder was not full, the enemy was just “exaggerating” and
offending him… So, fasting helps in all issues … when we are called for “a greater surgery”, we will do a certain fast along with noetic prayer and whatever God provides…”