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// JUNE 2018
The raw diamond of Kefalonia
Athens
Patras
Sami
Lepeda
Lixouri
Paralia Petani
Porto Athera
Agia Thekli
Rifi
Chavdata
Chavriata
Mantzavinata
Lixouri
Lixouri
Lepeda
Argostolion
Lixouri
Kaminarata
Moni Iperagias Theotokou Kipoureon
Lepeda
Megas Lakkos
Paralia Petani
Platia Ammos
Skinos Chavriata
Kounopetra
Xi Beach
Lixouri
Lepeda
Atheras
Amidi Beach
Fteri Beach
Atheras
Lixouri
Myrtos

Lixouri


16nth of June
The exceptional Mr. Gerasimos Galanos:
A Lixouriotis of Art, Spirituality and Culture.

As soon as we set foot on Lixouri, after our visit to Argostoli, we harried back to our villa in Lepeda so as to rest a bit and freshen up.

We had to be ready early in the afternoon, since our friend Kostas had arranged for us to meet Mr.Gerasimos Galanos, a distinguished man, as it was proved, and an authentic son of beautiful Palliki, who searches, collects and records with love and dedication, since many years now, precious folkloric and cultural elements, in a titanic effort to preserve the legacy of his birth land, for the next coming generations …
 


We met Mr. Gerasimos Galanos in the small room/cell, where St. Panagis (Paisios) of Kefalonia (Father Bashias) lived his humble life from 1867 till 1888, when he passed away, at the age of 88 years.

Mr Galanos is taking care with respect and love of the Saint’s cell, accordingly to the wish of the late Georgios Geroulanos, who was the owner of the house, where the cell is to be found.

Mr. Galanos let us enter the holly place and was willing  to allow us pay our respects to the Saint and also take videos and photos of the personal objects, the icons and the old photos of Father Bashias, that we could see there.
 


Our first impression, as far as Mr. Galanos, was excellent.
We saw a low profile, discreet and very polite man, who welcomed us immediately in the holy place and was more than willing to talk to us about the beloved Saint of Kefalonia. 

We were deeply impressed by his clear, honest blue eyes, his kind smile, his natural self awareness, his sharpness, and also by the excellent knowledge and use of the Greek language, something that we realized immediately…

Later on, we would understand perfectly that there was nothing accidental or superficial in all those qualities we had spotted on him, as soon as we met him…

Mr. Galanos is a professional primary school teacher.
But he is also an authentic Kefalonian and that is translated in being extremely multitasked and multifarious as personality.  
He is sociable and with a perfect sense of “joy of life”, but at the same time he has his own secret spiritual life, which helps him, though, to approach immediately people he has never seen before and to create with clarity a picture about their character and their personality. 
And, as we realized in astonishment, later on, his opinion about people he meets is very rarely wrong! A charisma indeed!
 


We would like to think, from what we experienced together after our acquaintance, that he ranked us among the ones that are pleasant and sympathetic to him.
Is Mr. Galanos an unconventional man?
To our opinion, yes, he is.

But in a very fascinating way, though.
Very “sui generis” for others to understand him deeply, but at the same time very…Kefalonian_ with all the charismas and the particularities that the people of this amazing island have_ to pass by unnoticed!

So, he spoke to us about the Saint and based on his story and also on the very interesting, historic information that he has collected and written to his excellent published article “Saint Panagis (Paisios) of Kefalonia (Father Bashias)”_ to which he had the kindness to allow us access_ we composed a summarized portrait of the beloved Saint of Kefalonia and we present it to you. 

We would very much like to republish the whole excellent article, but the space of writing in a travelogue is rather limited, so we will mention all those basic but concise too, which we have tried to compose, so as to give some significant information to the visitors of our site, as far as this great personality of the Greek Orthodox Church.   


The humble Saint Panagis- Father Bashias of Kefalonia

Saint Panagis Typaldos Bashias was the son of a noble family in Palliki and was born in 1801 from pious parents (Michael and Regina).
His mother was coming from the noble family Delaporta.
He was educated near remarkable teachers of his time and learnt French, Italian and Latin too, which was a language necessary for the study of some old religious texts.
 


In 1836 he was ordained, first deacon and then priest, by Parthenios Makris, who at the time was the Archbishop of Kefalonia. 
He used the teaching of Kosmas Aitolos, so as to benefit the Christians and became worthy servant of God.
He served as a priest in the Monastery of Saint Spyridon in the area Platys Gyalos, near Lixouri, and initially his wish was to become a monk.

But God’s wills were different for him.
He was not to become a monk, but a shepherd/priest who would live among the humble people, who were struggling to survive through daily difficulties. He was also a remarkable teacher, in a difficult period for the Ionian Islands, since the Protestants British were not favoring the Orthodox Church.
They were considering it an expression of resistance by the inhabitants of the islands, which were under their occupation then. 

Loyal to his religious and moral values, he gave almost all his fortune to the helpless and poor people of Lixouri.

Ten years after his ordain, though, he started suffering from an exhausting neurological illness, which he was facing as a blessing and as a testing coming from God, which would push him to live in humbleness, away from egoistic passions.
The people who were considering him as their benefactor knew about his illness, but were respecting him and were not bothering him. On the contrary, they were finding consolation to the Saint, whom with they were identified.

Saint Panagis was blessed with the divine charisma of Prophecy.
This amazing charisma was helping him, unconsciously, to improve the moral values of his birth land’s small society.

Unfortunately his illness was worsening through the years and in 1864, his cousin, the medical doctor Andreas Typaldos Bashias, who was offering him medical help, asked from the Clerical Fund financial support, a little assistance, so as to be comforted somehow the Saint from his illness and poverty.

Along with the disease and the poverty, another hit was given to the Saint, when his family’s home was destroyed, during the big earthquakes of 1867.
 


But luckily, Father Bashias was connected to the noble Geroulanos family (his mother Regina was Ioannis Geroulanos (1821-1892) aunt).

When he asked from the Geroulanos family a small, single room as sheltering, his cousin Ioannis willingly offered it to him. The Saint spent the rest of his life in that room, the so called cell, until his death on the 7nth of June 1888, at the age of 88.

The Geroulanos family was respecting the Saint, honored him and carried on honoring him through the coming years.

The Saint had said, through a prophecy, that his cousin’s son Marinos, one of his three children, would become great and famous, and that was what exactly happened, since the young boy became one of the greatest Greek sergeants and also member of the Greek Academy. 

Marinos’ son Ioannis, who was born in 1904, took care of the Saint Spyridon church and of the Saint’s grave. Marinos Gerulanos himself was having great respect for the Saint and with loyalty he devoted to him the first page of his book “Lixouri”.

After the personal wish of the descendant of the family, the late Georgios Geroulanos, as far as the Saint’s cell to be always taken care of and to be a holy place of visit, Mr. Galanos took up this duty with great respect and he is keeping the place in an immaculate condition for visitors who come there for a pilgrimage, not only from Kefalonia, but from many other places of Greece too.  
 


*You may read the whole article of Mr. Gerasimos Galanos about Saint Panagis (Father Bashias) by clicking here.

We exited the cell of Father Bashias with feelings of devoutness and respect, influenced by the serene way of Mr Galanos talking.

But, the multitasked and perspicacious Lixouriotis, as soon as he locked the holly cell, tried immediately to put us in a different, lighter mood.
He made it clear that his spiritual introspections and his religious duties do not result in him becoming isolated and never lead him to useless dead ends of the mind.
On the contrary, he is wise enough to understand that life is full of small but important joys, like the pleasure of enjoying a nice coffee accompanied with a delicious local almond pie with ice cream, which he had the kindness to treat us, in the central square of Lixouri, when we all sat at one of the traditional patisseries there.
The good company is also something that he appreciates a lot and he seemed to enjoy the discussion with us, willing to learn more about our journey in Paliki.
And eventually he came up with a really excellent and unique suggestion.
 

Country: Greece
Date: 2018
Route: Kefalonia-Peninsula of Paliki
Cities: Athens, Patras, Sami, Lepeda, Lixouri, Paralia Petani, Porto Athera, Agia Thekli, Rifi, Chavdata, Chavriata, Mantzavinata, Lixouri, Lixouri, Lepeda, Argostolion, Lixouri, Kaminarata, Moni Iperagias Theotokou Kipoureon, Lepeda, Megas Lakkos, Paralia Petani, Platia Ammos, Skinos Chavriata , Kounopetra, Xi Beach, Lixouri, Lepeda, Atheras, Amidi Beach, Fteri Beach, Atheras, Lixouri
Duration: 8
Difficulty:
Population:
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Country: Greece
Date: 2018
Route: Kefalonia-Peninsula of Paliki
Cities: Athens, Patras, Sami, Lepeda, Lixouri, Paralia Petani, Porto Athera, Agia Thekli, Rifi, Chavdata, Chavriata, Mantzavinata, Lixouri, Lixouri, Lepeda, Argostolion, Lixouri, Kaminarata, Moni Iperagias Theotokou Kipoureon, Lepeda, Megas Lakkos, Paralia Petani, Platia Ammos, Skinos Chavriata , Kounopetra, Xi Beach, Lixouri, Lepeda, Atheras, Amidi Beach, Fteri Beach, Atheras, Lixouri
Duration: 8
Difficulty:
Population:
Rating:
comments
VIEW
Country: Greece
Date: 2018
Route: Kefalonia-Peninsula of Paliki
Cities: Athens, Patras, Sami, Lepeda, Lixouri, Paralia Petani, Porto Athera, Agia Thekli, Rifi, Chavdata, Chavriata, Mantzavinata, Lixouri, Lixouri, Lepeda, Argostolion, Lixouri, Kaminarata, Moni Iperagias Theotokou Kipoureon, Lepeda, Megas Lakkos, Paralia Petani, Platia Ammos, Skinos Chavriata , Kounopetra, Xi Beach, Lixouri, Lepeda, Atheras, Amidi Beach, Fteri Beach, Atheras, Lixouri
Duration: 8 days
Difficulty:
Population:
Rating:
comments
VIEW