Father Ignatius – The Holy Fool of Tears – Excerpt from the newly-released book “In the Footsteps of Jesus” by Sofia Kioroglou

 

After the publication of Mystical Experiences in the Holy Land comes the new English Edition of In the Footsteps of Jesus by Sofia Kioroglou. A special thanks to all those who have supported me and especially to Mrs Sofia Kouna, Vasiliki Rozi, Athina Kateri, Vasiliki Vlachopoulou among others. The book is coming up next week.

THE GREEK EDITION OF THE BOOK

Fr Ignatius gave us his blessing to continue
First of all, due acknowledgements should go
to a special lady who requested that I write a few

words about the great Hegoumen of Tears, Fa-
ther Ignaty. A figure totally unknown to the West

as well as to his homeland. However, his seal of

approval on this undertaking was given in a rath-
er unexpected way. Having written my first book

in Greek where the life and miracles of Fr Ignaty

first saw the light of day, I did not know wheth-
er I had been heading in the right direction. Of

course, I had always felt his presence during my
project but the clincher was an event that totally
bowled over Mrs Sofia Kouna from Athens who

happened to know him personally and had wit-
nessed many of his miracles while alive. When

she bought my first book entitled “ MYSTICAL
EXPERIENCES IN THE HOLY LAND”, she
headed home to curl up on her sofa and read
it. When she unlocked and opened the door of
her house, she felt a light breeze caressing her

cheeks and heard something plop in the kitch-
en. She rushed to see what it was that had fallen

and, guess what? Of all things, it was an icon face
down. The icon of Father Ignaty she had framed
to remember him. She immmediately picked up

the phone and called me to tell me the news.
That was the green light to an investigation we
had launched to find out more about his parents
and life before serving in Israel. It is our fervent

wish that Father Ignaty, through his interces-
sions, because he was a saint and lived a right-
eous life, reveal himself to his compatriots. The

glorification of saints in the Orthodox Church is
a recognition that God’s holiness is manifested in
the Church through these grace-filled men and
women whose lives were pleasing to God.
Can the Church “make” a saint? The answer
is no. Only God can do that. We glorify those
whom God Himself has glorified, seeing in their
lives true love for God and their neighbors. The
Church merely recognizes that such a person has
cooperated with God’s grace to the extent that
his or her holiness is beyond doubt.

Are saints “elected” by special panels or by ma-
jority vote? Again, the answer is no. Long before

an official inquiry into a person’s life is made,
that person is venerated by the people where he
or she lived and died. His or her memory is kept
alive by the people who pray for his or her soul or
who ask him or her for intercession. Sometimes
people will visit his or her grave or have icons
painted through their love for the person. Then
a request is made, usually through the diocesan

bishop, for the Church to recognize that person
as a saint. A committee, such as the Orthodox
Church in America’s Canonization Commission,
is formed to research the life of the person who is
being considered for glorification and to submit a
report to the Holy Synod stating its reasons why
the person should or should not be recognized

as a saint. Then the Holy Synod decides to num-
ber that person among the saints and have icons

painted and liturgical services composed. Thus,
let us pray that Father Ignaty’s life be researched

and be made a symbol of great heights of Asceti-
cism like Saint John Maximovich and Saint John

of Hozeba. Amen!

He was a saint!

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