Thursday, March 3, 2022

Greek Television Series on the Life of Saint Paisios (Episodes 1 - 3)

The life of Saint Paisios the Athonite has become a television series (as reported in September 2020) and has enjoyed high ratings and much acclaim in Greece. It aspires to bring to the screens of our homes the most important moments of the life of the Saint, from the moment he was born until his death. The first season, which is currently airing, concerns the course of the Saint from his family being led out of Farasa by Saint Arsenios of Cappadocia, who baptized Saint Paisios, to growing up in Konitsa, his experiences in the Greek army, his initial monastic venture in Konitsa, until the moment he enters Mount Athos. The second season will begin with his life on Mount Athos and end with his death.

The screenplay is by George Tsiakkas, directed by Stamos Tsamis, produced by the Saint Maximos the Greek Institute and by Green Olive. Many big names among Greek and Cypriot actors will be featured, including Prokopis Agathokleous who plays Saint Paisios as a young man. The series was shot as much as possible at the actual locations.

Below are episodes 1 - 3. I will post each episode as it becomes available. New episodes air every Thursday night in Greece. It is currently only in Greek. Under each episode I will give a brief overview in English.

Episode One (with English subtitles)

The story of Saint Paisios, a Saint of our times who touched the whole world of Orthodoxy, begins with his birth in Farasa of Cappadocia, on July 25, 1924. A few days later, he is baptized by village priest Saint Arsenios of Cappadocia, who gives him his own name - Arsenios. The birth of Saint Paisios coincides with the uprooting of the Greeks from Cappadocia. Little Arsenios, who took the name of Paisios when he later became a monk, becomes a refugee in the first days of his life. His family, along with all the inhabitants of the Greek villages of Cappadocia, take the road of refuge to Greece. The leader and spiritual guide in this adventure is the Saint Arsenios.

Episode Two (with English subtitles)

The uprooted from Cappadocia celebrate the Dormition of the Theotokos on August 15th away from their village, with an outdoor service. They arrive in Piraeus on September 14, waiting to find Greece embrace them, but they encounter many difficulties and problems. The father of the little Arsenios, who is the president of the community, tries with the guidance of Saint Arsenios to keep balance and solve the problems. Saint Arsenios predicts that they will go to an island and that he will repose there in forty days. The next day they are sent to Kerkyra. There they live temporarily in the castle of the city.

Episode Three (with English subtitles)

As their spiritual father and a holy man of God with spiritual gifts, Saint Arsenios foretold to his community exactly what would happen. Forty days after settling in the castle of Kerkyra, Saint Arsenios reposes in the city hospital on November 10, 1924. This event shocks the whole community, because Saint Arsenios was their spiritual father, physician and teacher. He was the man who really preserved the Romaic and Christian soul in the villages of the Farasa region. Countless miracles were performed through him. His repose upsets everything in the community. Tensions, quarrels and disputes begin.