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Πέμπτη, 8 Δεκεμβρίου 2016

Ο ΘΑΝΑΤΟΣ ΤΟΥ ΦΩΤΗ ΚΟΝΤΟΓΛΟΥ ΚΑΙ Η ΘΑΥΜΑΣΤΗ ΠΛΗΡΟΦΟΡΙΑ ΑΠΟ ΤΟΝ ΑΓΙΟΝ ΕΦΡΑΙΜ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΜΑΡΤΥΡΑ ΝΕΑΣ ΜΑΡΚΡΗΣ. THE DEATH OF FOTIOS KONTGLOU AND THE MIRACULOUS RESPONSE FROM ST. EPHRAIM THE GREAT MARTYR OF NEA MAKRI






Ο ΘΑΝΑΤΟΣ ΤΟΥ ΦΩΤΗ ΚΟΝΤΟΓΛΟΥ ΚΑΙ
Η ΘΑΥΜΑΣΤΗ ΠΛΗΡΟΦΟΡΙΑ ΑΠΟ ΤΟΝ ΑΓΙΟΝ
ΕΦΡΑΙΜ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΜΑΡΤΥΡΑ ΝΕΑΣ ΜΑΡΚΡΗΣ

FOTIOS KONTOGLOU & SAINT EPHRAIM

            Ό Φώτης Κόντογλου γεννήθηκε στό Αϊβαλί τής Μικράς Άσίας στές 8 Νοεμβρίου 1895 καί πέθανε στήν Άθήνα τήν 13ην Ίουλίου 1965.  Τό παρακάτω περιστατικό άναφέρεται στές τελευταίες του στιγμές στό νοσοκομείον καί τήν θαυμαστήν πληροφορίαν πού είχε ή γυναίκα του άπό τόν Άγιον Έφραίμ τόν θαυματουργόν.

            Περνούσε δύσκολες ήμέρες στό νοσοκομείον ό άείμνηστος Φώτης Κόντογλου, καί ή γυναίκα του Μαρία Κόντογλου, ήταν γονατιστή καί προσευχόταν διά τήν θεραπείαν του, έπικαλούμενη τόν Μεγάλον μας Άγιον Έφραίμ.  Άς μήν ξεχνάμε, ότι ή άγιασμένη χείρα τού χαρισματούχου άγιογράφου είχε φιλοτεχνήσει τήν πρώτην είκόνα τού Άγίου μας!  Ή Μαρία Κόντογλου περίμενε λοιπόν άπό τόν Άγιον κάτι.

            Καί τί μεγαλύτερη βοήθεια θά μπορούσε νά βρεί άπό αύτήν τό νά δεί έκείνη άκριβώς τήν ώραν πού προσήυχτο τήν ψυχήν τού Φώτη Κόντογλου νά τήν κρατά ό Άγιος Έφραίμ καί μέσα σέ τόσην δόξαν νά τήν όδηγεί στόν ούρανόν!

            Παραξενεύτηκε βλέποντας όλα αύτά!  Τί τάχα νά σήμαιναν; Έκείνη τήν ώραν λοιπόν διέλυσε τήν άπορίαν της κάποιο τηλεφώνημα άπό τό νοσοκομείον πού τής άνακοίνωσε ότι ό άνδρας της πέταξε άνάλαφρα στόν ούρανόν!  Ό Άγιος ήταν στήν άλήθειαν ό σύνοδός του.


THE DEATH OF FOTIOS KONTGLOU
AND THE MIRACULOUS RESPONSE FROM
ST. EPHRAIM THE GREAT MARTYR OF NEA MAKRI

            It should be noted that Fotios Kontoglou is considered the father of the renaissance of true Byzantine iconography in the 20th century.  His iconographic paintings are considered amongst the best of the 20th century.  Up until the advent of Fotios Kontoglou most the iconography in Greece had been influenced by Western Renaissance art.  In fact, one of his many students who went to Greece from the United States to study under him was Demetrius Dukas.  Demetrius Dukas in turn brought this revival of true Byzantine iconography to America and painted the icons in many of the new Greek Orthodox Churches that were being built in the 60’, 70’s and 80’s.  One of those Churches was St. Sophia, in New London, CT that I served from September 1. 1961 to October, 2006.  All the major iconography was painted by Demetrius Dukas in the early 60’ shortly after I arrived at St. Sophia as the new priest.

+Fr. Constantine J. Simones, December 7, 2016

            The marvelous story about the death of Fotios Kontoglou has meaning when we read of the iconographer’s relationship to St. Ephraim, the Newly Revealed in Nea Makri, Greece.  It was Fotios Kontoglou, who painted the first icon about the newly revealed Saint.  I had read that the Saint himself appeared to Fotios where he lived in Athens and this is why Kontoglou was able to paint such true features of the Saint’s image. 

            This is the story of the miraculous revelation that Maria, the wife of Fotis, received at the moment Fotios was leaving this world for the heavenly realm.  This is the story.  Fotios Kontoglou was born in Aivali, Turkey on the 8th of November, 1895 and he died in Athens on the 13th of July, 1965.   The following story tells us about the final moments of his earthly life in a hospital in Athens.  It relates to the miraculous vision that his wife Maria received from St. Ephraim at the moment that Fotios was departing this earthly life.

            Fotis Kontoglou was suffering from some very serious health problems in an Athens hospital.  His wife Maria, during this difficult time, was on her knees praying for the miraculous healing of her husband.  She was invoking the intercessions of the newly revealed Great Holy Martyr Ephraim.  We should not forget that the holy hand of this man who was dying painted the very first icon of St. Ephraim.  Because of this relationship of her dying husband and the Saint, she was hopefully expecting him to respond to her prayers for his recovery.

            And what greater consolation could this grieving woman receive than to see her husband’s soul being escorted by St. Ephraim up to the glorious Kingdom of God.  Maria was startled by this strange vision.  She wondered what all this was about.  At that very moment, as she was wondering what the vision meant, the telephone rang.   It was the hospital calling her to let her know that her husband had died peacefully and St. Ephraim was his escort to the heavenly realm. 

Translated from the Greek by:

+Fr. Constantine (Charles) J. Simones, Waterford, CT, USA, December 6, 2016, 860-460-9089, cjsimones300@gmail.com   


THE CROSS THAT LEADS TO HEAVEN


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