Who is your patron saint? How did you or your godparent choose this saint?
I was born into a Greek Orthodox family, and my baptismal name is Eleni after St. Helen. However, interestingly, I consider St. Paisios to be my patron saint.
What do you know about your saint? What would you like to know?
I read a lot about St. Paisios and own almost every book I’ve personally come across about him because they bring me so much consolation and guidance. Arsenios Eznepidis grew up in the same region of Greece as my family and when St. Paisios was canonized, it happened on my birthday. I know he brought so much love and hope into the world before his repose and that he continues to do it today, long after.
What role does your saint play in your daily spiritual life?
I don’t pass a day without prayer to St. Paisios. I carry an icon of him wherever I go—in my car, my purse, my room, and in the back of my phone case. Whether in trial or consolation, I always feel that he is close.
Have you ever been asked to be a godparent? Did you help choose your godchild’s saint?
I haven’t been asked just yet! But I do know I will name my son one day Paisios.
Share something special that forms a particular bond between you and your saint.
There was a time in the past few months in which I was battling with horrible anxiousness over worldly things—acceptance into optometry school. I was missing certain aspects of the application after my account just happened to reset (deleting everything!), and, after asking, one of my professors told me they wouldn’t be able rewrite my recommendation (1 of the letters was to have been from a science professor). I didn’t know what to do, so I prayed to St. Paisios, as I often do. I had a dream days later, and I saw him, and (in Greek) he asked me why I was so worried. I tell him (again, in Greek) “Papa, it is because I don’t know that I should send this application.” And he says, “Send it. What you ask of me, I will do for you, but pray.” And then, upon waking, I remember saying the Jesus prayer in my head as I laid in bed, and I heard his voice again saying, “No, my child, get up.” And for some reason, I immediately knew he meant for me to do prostrations, so that is what I did. Needless to say, a week later I was interviewed and days later, accepted into optometry school—without one of the needed letters of recommendation. The first thing I did was glorify the saint. It made me realize that there is nothing in this world that cannot be relieved from us when we give it to God and trust in Him. God is in all the details.