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Elder Porphyrios Testimonies and Experiences Paperback – 1995

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 367 pages
  • Publisher: The Holy Convent (1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9608538238
  • ISBN-13: 978-9608538238
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,755,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By N. Papagiannis on July 27, 2008
This is hands down, the best Christian book that I've ever read (besides the bible). The book goes beyond denominations and hits the root of all forms of Christianity, the love towards Christ and fellow man. This book is not just for Orthodox Christians, it's a book for anyone that loves Christ. Through each experience and testimony of Elder Porphyrios, the reader will witness the divine energy that dwelt inside of Elder Porphyrios and all Holy Elders of Orthodox Christianity. Elder Porphyrios' words go beyond any Oprah book club book or any self improvement book because they address the heart of the human condition and it's fall from Grace. Elders like Elder Porphyrios, that spend a lifetime of prayer and asceticism are able to get closer to the prefallen state, and the testimonies in this book demonstrate it. I have friends that new this man, and his humility, simplicity, and love that emanated through him is only the beginning of his Spiritual make up. Once he was visited by the divine grace the book describes how his make up completely changed, "His sensitivity to things around him became very acute and his human capacities developed to their fullest. He listened to and recognized bird and animal voices to the extent that he knew not just where they came from, but what they were saying. His sense of smell was developed to such a degree that he could recognize fragrances at a great distance. He knew the different types of aroma and their makeup. After humble prayer he was able to "see" the depths of the earth and the far reaches of space. He could see through water and through rock formations.Read more ›
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Don't read this book. You'll be cancelling plans and investing a week of your life in the business of jumping on a plane, making the trek to Greece to venerate his relics. And all that will disturb the order of things for you.

But then that could be a good thing, no?

So, yes. On second thought, read this book. And the other four. Of the five volumes in English given us by those who knew him, the tales do the telling, not so much the words. So bring on more books on the memory and the life of this dear one.

Eighteen months from now I'll make the pilgrimage to venerate his relics, to ask this elder, standing next to his bones there, for his prayers. In fact, as a convert to Orthodoxy and one who spent a decade as a Protestant Evangelical mocking all who prayed to saints, Elder Porphyrios is the first saint I've learned to pray to. I have this book in my house and the cover of this book near my prayer altar, asking him to pray for me. (Pray to saints? When applying for a job, for example, do you not ask friends you know who in turn know important people on the job site to put in a good word for you? Of course. Praying to saints is like that.)

Such respect and love is growing for this man and his life and he hasn't even been canonized yet. Who cares. Read of him and you'll believe again that simple people can have a Big impact; you'll believe again that little people in their silence and simplicity can indeed attract people; attract people to God better than any mega church or mega bullhorn. That's what matters about this man and why you need to know of the stories that define him. So read. And you'll stop whining about adversity, when you witness on these pages his humility and poverty and ailments and suffering and compassion for the unwashed and outcasts.
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Once in two- or three-hundred years... That is how frequently we receive a saint so advanced in the spiritual life as Elder Porphyrios.

Today, "WWJD?" bumper stickers and wrist-bands are often displayed by people who could no better give a proper answer than we could. It is becoming more and more difficult to truly find people who could boldly (and rightly) declare, as St. Paul did, "It is no longer I who live but Christ Who lives in me." But life is full of exceptions, and to this rule, Elder Porphyrios certainly does not fit. He was so filled with Christ, his love, humility, and tenderness certainly did not leave this Earth when he reposed; instead, it continues in the life and teachings of the Elder which have been passed on to us. This text is an immense blessing to the English-speaking world, one which I hope many accept.

Of all of the books that I have read about Elder Porphyrios - "Wounded by Love," "With Elder Porpyrios: A Spiritual Child Remembers," "The Divine Flame Elder Porphyrios Lit in My Heart," and this title - the current title was my least favorite at first. After reading through more and more, however, it became my favorite right after the contemporary spiritual classic, "Wounded by Love." However, to give a sense of how great all of the books are, I must say that even when it was my least favorite, I still would have given it 5 stars.

The problem I initially had with the book was that it seemed "choppy." The first 60 pages consist of introductory remarks, prefaces or prologues to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd editions, an explanation of what an Elder is, a short life of Elder Porphyrios, and a few other things containing teachings of the Elder. There follow over a dozen radio interviews with people who knew the Elder.
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