In this video, Fr. Nikolaos Loudovikos recounts his recent visit to the Holy Monastery of Vatopedi, where he engages in a heartfelt discussion with the fathers of the monastery. Delving into his personal encounters with revered modern Saints—Saint Paisios the Athonite, St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia, and St. Iakovos Tsalikis—Fr. Nicholas shares the profound miracles he experienced during these sacred moments. Join us as we embark on a spiritual journey, exploring the divine interventions and blessings that have enriched Fr. Nicholas’s faith and strengthened his connection to these remarkable contemporary Saints. Fr. Nikolaos Loudovikos is a prominent Orthodox Christian theologian and priest. He is known for his academic and theological contributions within the Eastern Orthodox Church.
In the school of [inaudible], we were studying Christology and the students tell me, “You talk with such a certainty.”
I answer, “Yes, because when I talk about Christ I have father Paisios, I have Fr. Porphyrios in my mind.” The proof that Christ existed is in each one of them and others. I had met Fr. Porphyrios. When I met him I had no idea about spiritual matters. I had a lot of theoretical questions. I was in a deadlock in family, personal and other matters. I go to Fr. Porphyrios for the first time.
We gather 5-6 university students around him and he says, “Guys, I cannot talk to you today. The guitar is out of tune. The heavenly musician cannot play.”
I say, “What a pity!” He turns to me and says, “Poor child, you want to believe but you cannot, right?” I say, “Yes.”
[St. Porphyrios]: “Come tomorrow on your own.” The next day was a short of a personal Pentecost. He grabs my hand, we go inside the forest and he tells me, “Let me show you God now.” I thought he was going to read my mind. He tells me, “God does not need to read your mind.”
“I will tell you a fact you don’t know about.”
“What is it?” I ask.
“Do you know that when you were being born, you were coming out with a double nuchal cord and you were chocking?”
“What did you just say?”
He starts describing the moment to me—what time it was, how the doctor was absent, how the midwife was absent, and I, the baby, started being born while chocking right here. A nurse started screaming, “We are losing the baby…”
Suddenly, my father who was listening, enters the delivery room, he gives me a quick push in his fright. I started breathing and I lived.
[St. Porphyrios]: “You would have been either dead or with a disability.” “What are you talking about?”
“You do not know about that, you will ask your mother. Your mother pushed this [memory] away, as you psychologists say.”
He then starts saying to me other things. How I got ill with a rare disease, I would have been deaf-mute.
And how a doctor randomly discovered it [the rare disease] and I started treatment. “Do you remember this?” I say, “Yes.”
He says either dead, with a disability or deaf-mute. He says more, more and more things. I do not want to say them.
I was in shock. When I tried to take a breath, he says to me. “Now that I am old, I am reading poetry.”
“But these new poets are all very difficult to understand.”
“Can I recite some lyrics so you can explain them to me?”
He starts and recites my own personal lyrics. Personal lyrics, unpublished! I was shaking, such a shock, I cannot describe.
He says to me, “How do I know all these things?”
“How do you, elder?” I ask.
“God knows them, blessed one, the Holy Spirit. It illumines me right now. To show you that God exists, he watches over you from the moment you were born.”
Then the question is born inside me, “Does God know the future as well?”
“Of course, He does.”
He takes my hand right here and says, “You went through a sickness and another one is coming.”
I say, “Which one?”
“This and that,” he answers. “Be careful when it arrives. You will do this and that …” It’s terrific. The sickness arrived four years later.
“Why, elder?” I asked.
“All sicknesses are psychosomatic. You will make sure to change your life from now on and you will do these things. Although, [eventually], you won’t do them. You have not yet understood what God is and what Grace is.” This was the reason I visited father Paisios.
I did some things in the wrong way. St. Paisios was closer to me, I am from Volos, and I went to him for the first time.
We thought, we would encounter prophet Moses, a beast. A skinny old man. But he had this look [in his eyes]…
We gathered 3-4 people there. A university student from Thessaloniki was also there who was very insolent.
We sat around the elder. The university student was attacking him. “What are you doing here, grandad?”
“I am mean and they keep me isolated.”
“Why do you have a fence around [your hut]?”
“Because I am mean, the beasts attack me, I am scared and I use the fence.”
“Why did you not stay in the world to make a family?”
“Such a stroppy like me to marry and destroy other peoples’ lives as well?” I am thinking, “What’s going on in here?”
“What is it that you know how to do?”
“I know addition and right now I am trying to learn subtraction.”
As this was going on, suddenly, [Saint Paisios] leaves his prayer rope and I saw for the first time this [unique] look [in his eyes]. You could feel it entering inside you. He looks at him like this and asks, “What is it that you study?”
He says, “What do you care?”
“I do not.”
“By the way, do you remember, when you were a child, that you had a bench and laid a red cloth on it and pretend to be a judge?”
He says, “Yes, I remember it!”
“That’s why I am telling you this. Leave the economics that you study and go to law school. This is where your vocation lies.”
He jumps up, he lets out a squawk and starts running.
[St. Paisios]: “He will become a commando!”
“What commando?” I ask. “A commando of Christ. He will change.”
He then turns to me and says, “Let us two go inside.” “Why did you not do what Father Porphyrios told you?”
“How do you know that?”
“The Holy Spirit is one [and the same].”
“Now, you will have to do what I tell you.” All these were charismatic. I cannot tell them all because they are personal.
But he took me out of a terrible situation. We then started visiting regularly [Mt. Athos].
We met the elder [must be referring to abbot Ephraim of Vatopedi monastery] as a novice in [the Monastery] of Koutloumousiou.
“So, after the visit to Saint Paisios, did you do what St. Porphyrios told you?”
“Are you kidding me? Straight away!”
“Our generation has benefited much. These are staggering things. Personally, I do not know where I would have been if these things had not happened.” Everything I told you is completely real. Not just real, I hid a lot of things which are personal and are even more serious.
“What about St. Iakovos Tsalikis?”
“I was newly married. We had heard about him. I was broke, I was not hired yet.”
I enter the monastery of St. David [in Evia] and I had a thousand drachma bill [old Greek currency] in my pocket, nothing else.
I had gas to go back to Thessaloniki and a thousand drachma bill, not a thousand euro, in my pocket.
I enter the church, it was completely empty and I throw the bill inside the donation box.
Suddenly, I see Fr. Iakovos [Tsalikis], who was inside the Altar praying, coming towards me.
“Why did you do that?” he asks.
“What did I do?”
He says “Just like the widow. [Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4] You threw inside everything you had.”
“And you are unemployed!”
“Yes.” [St. Iakovos]: “I am obliged to you.”
He told me things that only now are starting to be realized.
This was the experience I had with such great men as I then tried to explain it by reading and working.
God gives knowledge and He also gives wisdom. When you have the one you must try to learn the other.
For us, this is an apprenticeship, in this spirituality which represents what you are also doing here.
Monasticism reveals the ideal. [inaudible] were all monks. And this humbles me forever.