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Gabrielia (Papayannis)

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I have tried to improve expression.
The Gerontissa Gabrielia (Gavrielia) was born in Constantinople (Konstantinoupoli or Istanbul) more than a hundred years ago on [[October 15]], 1897 to Helias and Victoria Papayanni(s), Papayannis. She was the fourth and last child youngest of the family, the mostly loved one (Alexandros, her brother (1st), Vasiliki (2nd) and Paulina (3rd), her sisters)four children.
Gerontissa means further than an older nun (supervising the youngers), a spiritual person who guides others with wise advice and knowledge given from God, in prayers. Her life is a trail of wonders. She grew up in the city until her family moved to Thessalonika in 1923. She went to England in 1938 and stayed there throughout the Second World War. She trained as a chiropodist and physiotherapist. In England they honoured As a result of her (for services to her services fellow citizens during and after the war and after) , she was honored by the English government with the offer of citizenship, an offer to be a citizen (but honor she refused politely)declined.
In 1945 she returned to Greece where she worked with the Friends Refugee Mission and the American Farm School in Thessalonika in early post-war years. Later she opened her own therapy office in Athens until 1954. In March of that year , her mother died and the office was closed. Sister Gabrielia left Greece and traveled overland to India where she worked with the poorest of the poor, even the lepers, for five years. She worked with Baba Amte and his family who built and organised village-communities for the lepers of India. She kept accepted no penny in reward for her pocket! Just trusted herself services, trusting always in His handsGod's providence.
In 1959, she went to the [[Monastery]] of Sts Mary and Martha in Bethany, Palestine, to become a nun. When she arrived she asked Fr. Theodosius the [[chaplain]] for a rule of prayer. Fr. Theodosius was somewhat surprised to find that she could read even ancient Byzantine liturgical Greek. Fr. Theodosius said, "The great elders that we hear about no longer exist. I certainly am not one. You came here to save your soul. If I start giving you rules, you will lose your soul and I will as well. But here is Fr. [[John Climacus|John]]. He will be your elder." So for her first year in the monastery he set her to reading only the [[Gospels]] and St. John Climacus. (It should be noted that at that time the 'The Ladder ' had not been published in modern Modern Greek.)
She was stayed in Bethany for three years in Bethany. In April, 1962, word came that [[Patriarch]] [[Athenagoras I (Spyrou) of Constantinople|Athenagoras of Constantinople]] sought to send an Orthodox monastic to [ Taize] in France. Sister Gabrielia went by way of Taize (she spoke fluent French from childhood) to America.
In By 1963 she was back in had returned to Greece. The Gerontissa She was [[Tonsure|tonsured]] to the Small Schema by [[Abbot]] [[Amphilochios (Makris)]] on Patmos in the Cave of St. Anthony under the Monastery of Evangelismos the Annunciation just before she and the nun Tomasina left again for India. Elder Amphilochios was enthusiastic at about the idea of a nun who would be open to the active outreach in the world. In Once in India she was for spent three years in Nani Tal in Uttar Pradesh where Fr. [[Lazarus (Moore)]] was the priest and where he consulted the Gerontissa in his translations of the Psalter and the Fathers. Between 1967 and 1977 the Gerontissa she traveled in the Mission mission field of East Africa, in Europe, including visiting old friends and spiritual fathers [[Lev Gillet]] and [[Sophrony (Sakharov)|Sophrony of Essex]], . She returned again to America, and briefly in to [[Church of Sinai|Sinai]] where Archbishop Damianos was attempting to reintroduce women's monasticism.
She traveled extensively, with much concern and broad love for the people of God. Some of her spiritual children found her in Jerusalem beside the Tomb of Christ; others found her on the mission field of East Africa. In the 50s and 60s she used was a spiritual guide and comfort to have a few thousands of spiritual friends from people all over the world! And she used to . She would pray for everybody day and night!all of them by name in her daily rule of prayer.
For years , beginning in about 1977, she lived hidden in a little apartment, the "House of the Angels" in Patissia in the midst of the noise and smog and confusion of central Athens. A little place, This modest apartment was a hidden place, a precious place to of refuge for all of those who knew would visit her thereseeking a word of comfort.
In 1989 she moved to Holy Protection hermitage Hermitage on the island of Aegina, close by to the shrine of St. [[Nectarios of Aegina|Nectarios]]. There , she called the last two of her spiritual children to become [[monastics]] near her, and there she continued to receive many visitors. At the start of Great Lent in 1990 she was hospitalized for lymphatic cancer. She was spent forty days in the hospital, leaving during [[Holy Week]] and receiving [[Eucharist|communionHoly Communion]] on [[Pascha]]. And to To the puzzlement amazement of the her doctors, further tests revealed the cancer had miraculously disappeared. It was not yet her time.
The Gerontissa finally withdrew to quietsolitude. With only one last nunas a companion, she moved for the last final time in this her life, to the island of Leros. There they established the [[hesychastarion]] of the Holy [[Archangel|Archangels]]. Only in this last year of her life did she accept the [[Tonsure|Great Schema]] at the hands of Fr. Dionysious Dionysius from [[Little St. Anne's Skete (Athos)|Little St. Anne's Skete]] on [[Mount Athos]]. He came to give her the Schema in the Chapel of the Panaghia Panagia in the Kastro on the top of Leros.
Gerontissa Gabrielia passed from this world on [[March 28]], 1992, having never built a [[monastery]]. Over the years, six of her spiritual children did become monastics, but never more than one or two were with her at a time. Only the [[angels]] could count the number of lives that God touched and changed through her. Her biography and collected writings were published in Greek in 1996, through the work of her last monastic daughter and the contribution of many, many others who held the Gerontissa dear.

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