April 16, 2024

The Special Bond Between Saint Nektarios and Saint Amphilochios

1. When Saint Nektarios built the monastery for his spiritual daughters in Aegina, a newly ordained young deacon would regularly come and officiate with him; this was the future Elder Amphilochios Makris, who at the time was a spiritual child of Saint Nektarios. Saint Nektarios discerned the holiness of Amphilochios and that the Holy Spirit dwelt within him. He had revealed this to the nuns of the monastery, when they asked Saint Nektarios why he allowed a young man to come and liturgize with him and commune the nuns, since the monastery was avaton to men, that is, no man was allowed on the grounds of the monastery except their elderly spiritual father, who also allowed only Elder Amphilochios Makris and Elder Philotheos Zervakos. The Saint replied to them that though they had a point in wondering why he allowed this, still "this young man Amphilochios will one day be venerated as a Saint."

2. Their souls were united even more during the last liturgy they performed together a year before Saint Nektarios reposed in 1920. Their spiritual bond became more intense when the Saint commissioned Amphilochios to take care of a sick nun in her cell. 
Another time, due to overcrowding in the small guest house of the monastery, the Saint made him sleep in his cell inside the monastery enclosure.

3. Indicative of the special bond which had developed between Saint Nektarios and Elder Amphilochios is also the way in which the Saint healed him in 1958, when due to diabetes Elder Amphilochios had a dangerous abscess form on his leg. Marika Koufakis from Chania in Crete has preserved this story for us:

"Once Elder Amphilochios had an abscess on his leg. He was then in Patmos. The doctor saw him and he said that he had to be operated on urgently. This was miraculously cured, as the Elder himself later told me when I met him in Athens. I asked him:

'Elder, how did the abscess disappear?'

'Saint Nektarios made me well,' he answered.

'Well, tell me, did you see Saint Nektarios? How did it happen?'

'Blessed one, my eyesight only reaches up to there; am I worthy to see the Saint?'

I insisted:

'Tell me, how did the miracle happen?'

'Well, when the doctor made the diagnosis, in the evening, when I was alone, I asked the sisters at Annunciation to bring me from Pyrgos a relic of the Saint. And when we were alone, I said to him: "Aren't we friends? Please now help me." And in the morning there was nothing. Just a black spot, it had neither irritation nor inflammation.'"

Out of gratitude for this miracle, Elder Amphilochios had a church built in honor of Saint Nektarios and would liturgize there every year on his feast.
4. Saint Amphilochios recalled the following about Saint Nektarios:
"I went to Saint Nektarios regularly and visited him. I communed from his hands and was moved by the order and reverence of the nuns and especially of Abbess Xeni. A single ardent desire ignited the soul of the Saint: to see the monastic life spread throughout our suffering nation, according to the spirit of our Fathers. My pro-monastic tendencies are mostly due to his promptings. The foundation of his monastery in Aegina is the seal of his spirit. He was a man of prayer and had one thought - to create prayer centers."

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