November 9, 2023

Saint Nektarios and the Prophetic Word for Elder Simon Arvanitis

By Monk Zosimos

Panagiotis [the baptismal name of Elder Simon Arvanitis (+ 1988)] visited Mount Athos a few times. When he was young he liked to go on long journeys. Once he started from Athens and walked to Ouranoupolis. There he put his clothes on his back and swam to Mount Athos!

The Elder would later tell George Pantazis that at the age of 16 he went with a friend to Kavsokalyva of Mount Athos.

There the Fathers were gathered and waiting for Metropolitan Nektarios Kephalas to arrive, our well-known Saint Nektarios [the Bishop of Pentapolis and Wonderworker], who would be visiting them.

When he arrived, one by one the Fathers approached him reverently and received his blessing. After the Fathers did this, the pilgrims followed.

In his turn, Panagiotis also went to receive the blessing of the Saint. Saint Nektarios then took him by the hand and said to him prophetically:

"You, my child, will become a spiritual father and save souls. To the man who will come to you and speak of his sin for the first time, though he did not know that what he did was a sin, be lenient and do not let him go. But if he comes and continues in his sin, be strict with him and rebuke him."

The prophecy of Saint Nektarios took place when the fullness of time came. Panagiotis later became Father Simon, who indeed saved many souls.

Source: From the book Ιερομόναχος Σίμων Αρβανίτης, (1901-1988), Η ζωή και το έργο του. Translation by John Sanidopoulos.

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