Monday, 21 January 2008

Tales of Papa Papagregorakis #2

Papa Gavriel's vestments in the Azogires Museum
(For access to the Museum, enquire at the Alpha Kafenion)

Papa Gavriel and the Chandelier

Papa Gavriel went to a mosque or somewhere and got a crystal chandelier for the church but it was in a thousand pieces and had to be put together. He went to the kafenion and told a couple of men to come and help him put it together. They were playing cards and so they said, “Ok Priest, go ahead and we will come.”

Half an hour later the shouted to them “Are you coming or not?” and they said, “Yes.”

20 minutes later he walked into the kafenion with a stick and so they dropped their cards and all three went up to the church.

Papa Gavriel had put the chandelier pieces into lines and they were numbered so that they can be put together and put up.

Suddenly the priest started shouting at the men “Get out, get out now!”

“But we’ve come to fix the chandelier “ they said but he pushed them out of the church and closed the door.

Suddenly they start to hear noises from inside. Two minutes later Pater Gavriel opens the church door and there’s the chandelier hanging complete from the roof. Such was the inner power of Papa Gavriel –or George as his real name was.

Papa Gavriel and the Metropolitan

Once there used to be nuns in the monastery.

One time the Metropolitan, the head priest, from Selino/Kissamos came to see Papa Gavriel. The visit don’t go well and the Metropolitan was upset and angry because there was no reception committee for him, no bells were rung in his honour and nobody clapped when he came to the monastery. While they were sitting down to dinner with the other monks and nuns, the Metropolitan accused Papa Gavriel of having sex with the nuns – others who were jealous of Papa Gavriel had said this.

Papa Gavriel picked up his cassock, his long robe, and pointed to the injury he had received from the Turks saying ‘How can I have sex with anybody?”

Then he picked up the Metropolitan, put him on the monastery table and started to beat him –some say he also threatened to shoot him with his revolver!

That’s the reason Papa Gavriel left his land and property to the village of Azogires and not to the church, because he realized that these church people were not the proper people to have his land. Everything in the village used to be maintained with his money; the INKA Supermarket by Skala in Paleochora belongs to Azogires and his money paid for the road to be made from Paleochora to Azogires.

Papa Gavriel and the Wall

One day a man was walking to Anidri for a wedding dressed in his best clothes and he came across Papa Gavriel trying to move a stone the size of a table with a wooden beam; he wanted to build a wall. He had been working all his life so this was not unusual.

“Come and help me,” said the priest.

“I can’t” said the man, “I’ve got my best clothes on.”

“OK” said Papa Gavriel.

The man went 20 or 30 metres then feeling ashamed of himself, took his jacket off and went back to help the priest.

The two of them tried to move the stone but it was too big for them and all they could do was tilt it a little. Eventually Papa Gavriel said to the man “OK, go on to your wedding,” which the man did.

About 6 am the following day the man was walking back from Anidri and he looked for the stone but it wasn’t there, it was off the path and built into a wall which was packed with dirt - the work of 10 men for a couple of days.

He got to the bridge and saw the priest sitting there eating some cheese.

“How did you manage that?” he asked.

Papa Gavriel replied, “My friends helped me.”

“Who are your friends?” said the man................and the priest just smiled.

Nobody knows how it happened.

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