My Grandfather's Friend (Man of God)

Published: Thu, 03/24/22

As most of you probably already know, Tim and I have spent quite a bit of time on the beautiful island of Aegina, in Greece.  Aegina has been home to us on numerous occasions for weeks at a time, even months at a time.

There are several things we love about this island, from the temple of Apollo welcoming us at the main port, to the hidden church and the Mount of Zeus, to the dirt cheap table wine, home-made moonshine, fresh fish and world-renowned pistachios.  Aegina is also the birthplace of the great Achilles and of his famous army, the resilient Myrmidones, home to ancient olive trees (olive trees that are over 2,000 years old and still bear fruit), the first city-state to issue coins and establish an international trade currency (7th century BC), and so much more.

Aside from all of the above charms however, there is that one unique feature that makes Aegina so dear to us and millions of others as well.  Aegina has been home to Saint Nectarios, the Saint of our century as my grandfather used to refer to his beloved friend.  (The century of course was the 20th century.)

When you are on the island of Aegina, you can visit the monastery that he built himself and even the tiny room he lived in.  (I will never complain again about my childhood bedroom being too small. :) )

Saint Nectarios was born in 1846 and left his body in 1920.  He was the personification of humility, patience, forgiveness, and above all faith in a higher power.  He believed in God.  Apparently, not the same God that a good percentage of the Greek Orthodox church believed in. 

Saint Nectarios was constantly and relentlessly prosecuted by the Greek Orthodox church solely because he was loved and respected by the people.  It all started early in his career as a Bishop, when he was accused by his peers and supervisors of using his popularity to dethrone the Patriarch. 

Despite all of the personal and professional attacks, Saint Nectarios never lost his way.  He was the personification of human integrity. 

I do remember that my grandfather did not really care much about the "church", however he did have a very strong faith and always referenced Saint Nectarios's teachings.  He kept a book of his in the living room, in the drawer of a small console table as a constant reminder.  I am so grateful that my grandfather got to meet Saint Nectarios early in his life.

If you have read this far, you are probably wondering what on earth possessed me to write about all this?  Well, Saint Nectarios just got a movie made about his life!  And yes, it's in English!

Tim and I have not watched it yet, so we cannot say how close to reality it is.  We have just seen the trailer.  We are thrilled however to see that Saint Nectarios continues to touch so many lives around the world in multiple ways.

Below are some of our most favorite Saint Nectarios's quotes:
"Miracles are not impossible from a logical standpoint, and right reason does not deny them.  Natural laws do not have the claim to be the only ones, nor are they threatened with being overturned by the appearance of other laws, supernatural ones, which also are conducive to the development and furtherance of creation… Miracles are a consequence of the Creator’s love for his creatures."
"How mistaken are those people who seek happiness outside of themselves, in foreign lands and journeys, in riches and glory, in great possessions and pleasures, in diversions and vain things, which have a bitter end! In the same thing to construct the tower of happiness outside of ourselves as it is to build a house in a place that is consistently shaken by earthquakes. Happiness is found within ourselves, and blessed is the man who has understood this."

"Do not think that you have a right to complain when your prayers are not answered. God fulfills your desires in a manner that you do not know."

This last one reminds me of a great country song, Unanswered Prayers by Garth Brooks.  Yes, I can bring country music into everything. :-)

Should you wish to find out more about Saint Nectarios's life and in particular his fascinating childhood, you can visit this page.  It's certainly not as exciting as listening to Tim tell Saint Nectarios's stories, but I guess it will do for now.

Until next time...  Let us know if you watch the movie.
Much much love from both of us!

Na’maste Kala! (Which in Greek means, may we all be well!)
-Tim and Vie | Ayurveda Outlaws