On our way to Athos in September 2018 we payed a visit to the monastery of Ormylia- a beautiful stopover near Polygyros on your way to Ouranopolis -where we kindly were welcomed by Sister Prosdoki. The Ormylia monastery is only occupied by nuns, except for Father Euthymios, who has the responsibility on behalf of Simonospetras.
Sister Prosdoki told me the story of the Dutch Father Jacobos who has been living a few kilometers outside Simonospetras – SP – for years.
He was well educated and spoke seven languages. But unfortunately he became ill. In the year 2000 it appeared that he was treated with cancer and that no cure was possible. He wanted to die in SP. In SP lived a jovial and exuberant monk, named Gervasios, who cared for Father Jacobos during his illness. Father Gervasios did not want to die in the same way as Father Jacobos, but he wanted to die in a grand and compelling way, as a martyr. Just before his death he asked Father Jacobos on his deathbed if he could not be called by God sooner. Jacobos promised to do a good word for him and shortly afterwards he died in SP. He had previously said goodbye to his two sons at the hospital.
Before the souls of the deceased go to Heaven, they remain on earth for another 40 days. On the 40th day after the death of Father Jacobos, a long and violent storm broke out in the night.
Father Gervasios, who loved water and rain, went to watch the storm outside the monastery and because of the darkness he did not see that one of the bridges collapsed. He fell down and was taken away by the strong stream of water. The force was so strong that he was stripped of all his clothing and was therefore slammed naked against a rock and he found his death according to his wishes. It was as if he were stuck to the rock like an angel, with his arms and legs spread. Another reading is that he was found under the rock (according to father Euthymios of Ormylia). Father Jacobos had communicated his request to die in a grand way and his prayers were answered …… Gervasios was 49 years old.
Father Jacobos lived in a small house above SP on the road to Karyes. His Dutch birth name was Evert Hendrik Wolbers (born 26-03-1944) and he died on September 9th 2000, only 56 years old.
More Athos legends are found in this little book from 1983 in German by Ulrich Kadelbach.
Wim Voogd, 28-7