Monday, March 15, 2021

Aristotle Onassis and the Bishop

On March 15, 1975, Aristotle Onassis passed away. In his memory, Archimandrite Fr. Timotheos Iliakis published an incident that was often narrated by the late Metropolitan of Paramythia Titos Matthaiakis (+ 9/4/1991).

One summer after the Divine Liturgy in beautiful Parga, the pastor of the church had a lunch for the Metropolitan in a beach restaurant. Suddenly Onassis appeared with his friends, wearing shorts, a simple shirt and sandals. As soon as he saw the Metropolitan, he notified the owner of the restaurant and asked for a special place to sit alone for a while, while at the same time he sent someone from his escort to his boat.

After a while he appeared in a suit and tie and went smiling to greet the Metropolitan. To the Bishop's question about the change of attire, he replied: "You judge the man by the clothes he wears. I may be Onassis but you are a Bishop and I owe respect to the engolpion, your schema and your person; I cannot greet you and sit next to you in shorts, sandals and a shirt."

He then asked him to pay for his meal while asking to learn about the problems of the Paramythia Metropolis. He promised and later fulfilled a generous grant for the Paramythia Student Boarding School founded by the late Titos to house children from the villages of the Prefecture who did not have Middle Schools and High Schools and could study in Paramythia.

Other times, other manners. Let the younger generation learn from his example. 
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

Metropolitan Titos is in the center seated at the table.