Elder Amphilochios (Makris) of Patmos
The life of Elder Amphilochios of Patmos stands out in our day for the great fervour and love one man can have for our God, and the joy this love brings to those around him. He was born Athanasios in 1889 to simple and faithful parents, Emmanuel and Irene. He was a mature, spiritual child who insisted on fasting from a young age. At the age of seventeen, he answered the calling to monasticism and with zeal became a monk at the Holy Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, Patmos.
His enthusiasm showed, as he never passed up an opportunity to study the Word of God and later learned the Bible by heart. However, he was not satisfied living this life for himself, for he inspired his spiritual children to establish study groups, orphanages and other support services. While a monk, he dreamed of spreading Christianity throughout the islands of the Dodecanese, which in 1935 were under Italian occupation. He planted the seeds for the future female monastery of the Annunciation, building a training workshop for knitting and weaving, a guise under which to teach children Greek. When this was discovered, the Italian occupying forces exiled the Elder to Athens.
His was a legendary love for the people around him. Everyone, young and old, had a place in his heart. He would say: “I ask you to put this order into practice; as much as you can, try to cultivate your love towards Christ’s very person. You must come to the point that whenever you mention His name, tears run from your eyes. Your hearts must be truly burning.”
He was blessed with a forewarning of his repose in 1968, and was given two years to prepare himself and his spiritual children. With tears and love he bid his spiritual children strength for their journey: “I have no other joy and desire than to see you in Paradise. May God count you worthy of His glory.” He reposed in 1970, his face filled with an uncommon beauty, peace and serenity.
Source: Lychnos August / September 2016