Hieromonk Nikodimos Kalligiannakis
Born Emmanuel Kalligiannakis in 1926 in Krousonas, Heraklion, Crete, he worked in the family vineyards and olive groves by day and studied the Synaxarion by night. From a young age, he loved attending the church services and was never absent.
Farewelling his family, he left for the monastery of Saint Anthony at Vrontisi, where he was tonsured a monk with the name Nikodimos. He eventually settled at the Monastery of Koudouma and was ordained deacon and priest. Later, he was also made a confessor and spiritual father and served as abbot for two years.
He confessed many, his prayer healed the sick, and he freed the demon-possessed. However, his spiritual gifts and visions attracted attention. Therefore, in 1963, he left from Crete to escape to Mount Athos, where he would remain for the next twenty years.
Father Nikodimos was associated with the Koutloumousiou Monastery, joining several scetes attached to it and becoming their director. He was a confessor and spiritual father of monks, lay people and the students of the Athonite school. He even served as a confessor to Saint Paisios while he was associated with the same Monastery.
Once, when there was not enough oil to light all the candles, he prayed to the Theotokos, the Archangels and Saint Panteleimon (to whom the scete was dedicated) and all the candles lit on their own with a bright light. They remained lit for him to read the services and extinguished on their own at dawn. When pilgrims asked him for advice regarding salvation, Father Nikodimos simply told them: “Let your hearts be lit with love for God, and your eyes be filled with tears of sympathy for your brothers.”
In this way, his virtues drew many souls to the Orthodox faith. Falling ill, he returned home to the Monastery of Saint Irene in Krousonas, where the nuns cared for him. Foreseeing his death on July 17, 1986, he prepared by receiving the holy mysteries and completing his life with the Jesus prayer on his lips.
Source: Lychnos October 2021 / November 2021