Stelios Koukos


Testimony of Panayiota N., Athens

At the beginning of October 2011, a bailiff turned up at my home and served notice of the auction of my property, which was to take place on 30 November and involved the shop I run. I’d signed a guarantee for the debt of my husband.

I was so worried, so upset, I didn’t know what to do since I’d spent all my savings on my husband’s serious problems. The following nights I slept for only three to four hours, then I lay awake, anxiously trying to find a solution to stop the selloff. The debt was 26,000 euros.

The bank has already told me that I had to give 20,000 euros. Time was passing and all I’d saved was 2,500 euros, and this because I hadn’t paid any bills.

On 10 November I woke up in a state again, at six in the morning. I kept the blanket over my face, all covered up, and my first thought was : ‘What am I going to do about the debt?’
I’d hardly finished the thought when suddenly, to the right of my face, next to my right hand, the form of a monk came out of nowhere.

I threw off the blanket, sat up on the bed and all I said was: ‘Good grief, Lord, what was that?’. I made the sign of the cross, looked around me and saw nothing. I turned the radio on just to hear something, anything and to calm down.

It was a real miracle. The radio was on the frequency of the diocese of Piraeus and just then they had a program dedicated to the life of Saint Nikiforos the Leper. It was about half-way through the program. I listened with all my attention, I was moved, I was upset, I cried over the trials of Sant Nikiforos and I said to myself: ‘Don’t worry, God’s got it in hand’.

I looked three times in bookshops for something about his life and found nothing. In the end, I got something I’d ordered. I was speechless, I was completely shaken: the icon in the book was exactly the form that had come to me that night, next to my head. How was it that I’d turned on the radio at just that moment, rather than on any other evening when I couldn’t get to sleep?

I bought the book and read it again and again. I prayed to Saint Nikiforos and went to the auction on 30 November, with my 2,500 euros. I was happy, relaxed, wasn’t stressed and was no longer woken up by nightmares. I was calm.

Until 11 in the morning of 30/11/2011, the bank was demanding 20,000 euros. I began praying to Saint Nikiforos for help, because the bank was adamant. I was going to lose my shop.

At 11.30, the following happened. I’ll never forget it as long as I live. My cell phone rang and it was the callous man from the bank again, the one who’d been demanding 20,000 euros. In a completely different voice- calm, like something divine- he says to me ‘Mrs. Panayiota, do you have 2,000-2,500 euros that you can give us so that we can stop the selloff?’. I was standing, but collapsed to my knees; my tears wouldn’t stop. Saint Nikiforos had been with me all the time, from that early morning until now when I was on my knees, weeping.

The sale didn’t take place; they took the 2,500 euros. An arrangement was made to repay the debt on a monthly basis. A vision, a radio, a book, a completely alive Saint Nikiforos, who had entered my life.

I pray and thank him for his help.

I’d never, ever heard or read about Saint Nikiforos the Leper. I didn’t know he existed. But since he loves us all and prays for us, he heard me and felt my pain, my anxiety and he came and found me.

Thank you, my Lord, Jesus Christ.

Thank you, Saint Nikiforos the Leper.



Pemptousia Partnership

Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person ­– the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.


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