Friday, October 14, 2011

Historical Facts of St. Raphaels’ Holy Monastery

This is the title of a book Mena and Kostas brought me. They visited that monastery on the island of Lesbos, now called Mytilini, and the book, in English, is from the monastery book store.

The author is the Mother Superior, Evgenia. The book purports to be about St. Raphael of Thermi, a saint nobody knew existed until he began appearing to people and telling them the story of his life and death. Mother Evgenia is one of the people to whom he chiefly appeared and still appears, and most of the visions recorded in the book have to do with how the Saint himself chose Mother Evgenia to head up this monastery for women, and how he guides her and how he blesses the monastery, and through it, the whole world.

In short, it’s not so much about the glories of St. Raphael as about the glories (and the not-to-be questioned authority) of the all-holy Mother Evgenia, in her own words. And in the words of others, in the Preface and Introduction. There are also, in the last chapter, lengthy lists of all the awards she has received (10 pages), of the 95 books she has written, and all the books written about her (a six-page bibliography).

Kostas and Mena acquired the same impression from their visit there, and so did Demetrios, when he read the Greek edition of this book several years ago.

I think St. Raphael’s Monastery may never appear on my list of places I’d like to visit some day.