Words of the Heart: Gerondissa Makrina Vassopoulou 1921- 1995
"The Holy Monastery of Panagia Odigitria was the first women's monastery that I received under my spiritual guidance, in obedience to my Holy Geronda, Joseph the Hesychast, shortly before he passed away. My venerable Geronda had been corresponding with the informal sisterhood, which first began in the village of Stagiates in Pelion. He nurtured them, introducing them to the monastic life and the patristic traditions. With his prayers, he contributed to the establishment of the monastery in Portaria, and he left me as their spiritual guide. My Geronda took part in the selection of the monastery's Gerondissa after a revelation from God during his time of prayer.
The task to undertake the toilsome duty of ministering to the souls of the sisterhood was accepted with great difficulty by Gerondissa Makrina, as she considered herself unworthy. Gerondissa Makrina underwent enormous trials herself even from her childhood years. I knew her from the world. She had a special spiritual relationship with my blessed mother, Gerondissa Theophano (Victoria Moraitou), who supported her in many ways because she was an orphan.
Gerondissa Makrina was an extremely virtuous person, distinguished for her humility, meekness, attentiveness and unceasing prayer. She had great purity of nous. I have never met anyone with such purity of thought. As a nun, she had unquestioning obedience and great precision in her monastic duties. Divine fear, remembrance of death and the divine destination of man were cultivated in her soul from her youth and became her way of life. Her infinite patience, love and vigilant concern for the salvation of the sisterhood continually occupied her. The problems with which people approached her also became her own problems. She strived with her prayers and words to help them find solutions.
With the blessing of God, under Gerondissa's guidance, this Monastery of Panagia Odigitria became the source of many other monasteries that were established in Greece as well as in America and Canada.
Now, her soul is at rest, just as she gave me rest, and she rejoices eternally in Paradise, along with the choir of holy virgins. I, the least of all, humbly pray that she intercedes from our synodia in heaven for the salvation of her spiritual children and the entire world." -- Geronda Ephraim. Holy Monastery of St Anthony the Great, Florence, Arizona 2011.
Author: Gerondissa Makrina Vassopoulou