ELDER HADJI-GEORGIS THE ATHONITE
Elder Hadji-Georgis (1809–1886) was one of the greatest Elders of Mount Athos during the nineteenth century, and it is fitting that this biography of him was written by one of the greatest Athonite Elders of the twentieth century, Elder Paisios. "When I first came to the Holy Mountain," Elder Paisios writes, "I would hear everyone talking with great reverence and admiration about Hadji-Georgis! The many things I heard about him prompted me to revere him even more.… `A great ascetic and strict faster,` they would say. His name is even used as an epithet for those who are strict fasters: `He is a Hadji-Georgis,` they would say."
In the face of Hadji-Georgis, people saw a divine radiance and they easily opened up their suffering hearts and were healed. Everyone spoke with wonder and reverence about the Elder. Greek and Slav Athonite monks recognized him for his asceticism and the sanctity which he dispersed and radiated on Athos.…
It is not important that our Church still has not declared him a Saint in order to give him a halo. That which is very important is the radiant life of the Elder, his simple and innocent, silent example. He was full of virtues and divine strengths, which he offered together with himself in order to help his fellow man.
He performed miracles, he saw divine visions, and he also had the gift of spiritual perception. He had an abundance of grace from God.… When his holy relics were disinterred, an indescribable fragrance exuded from them.”
Elder Hadji-Georgis advised people with discernment. He consoled them and helped them with his heartfelt prayer, shedding divine grace to saddened souls. The holy Elder’s fame reached everywhere, and people flocked from many regions to be spiritually benefited. From morning until night he took the pain of the afflicted upon himself, and he warmed their hearts with his spiritual love.
Father Georgis would become very sad when someone, during his first steps of monastic life, would lose courage and be shaken as soon as he started the struggle for the salvation of his soul.… He spoke of how we must accept every trial and sorrow which God sends us with humility and patience, so that our soul may be cleansed completely from our known and unknown sins.”
Softbound. 102 pp.