In eternal memory...
By the Grace of God, we are approaching the completion of one year from the departure of my venerable Teacher (and) Father, George D. Metallinos (+19.12.2019). Our deeply respected Father George possessed the God-given talent of Preacher, which ‒ however ‒ had been discovered and was duly cultivated by his spiritual (and not only) Father, Fr. George Savvanis (+1964). This venerable Levite of Corfu – himself a married but childless cleric – had dedicated himself to all the destitute children of the parish of Saint Eleftherios of the City of Kerkyra (Corfu), among which was Father George, who was essentially growing up without the presence of his father, Demetrios. While gracing the (at left) lectern for cantors, young George had also been initiated from the age of sixteen in the preparation and presentation of sacred sermons. Despite the “exhortation” by experienced theologians to the pastor, that George was too young to preach in the church, the wise response of his Spiritual Father was: “If he does not love preaching from his adolescence, he will never love it”...
By the Grace of God, Father George also progressed in the sciences; however, his worldly wisdom was also utilized (with discretion) in his sermons. He not only preached from the ecclesiastic pulpit, but also from all the available media of his time that invited him (television, radio, press, books, publications, even the internet).
I would like to outline to all of our beloved readers three features of his theological word and in essence, of his godly preaching.
1. He always presented his sermon just before the dismissal of the Divine Liturgy with the words “by the blessings of...”, even though he knew, as a Professor (also) of Orthodox Worship, that the proper place of the sermon is immediately after the recital of the Holy Gospel. He used to explain this choice of his to us, in full awareness of his pastoral responsibility as a preacher: “During the sermon, the faithful will have already participated in the Mystery of the Divine Eucharist, so that – should they happen to be scandalized by a certain mention in the sermon – they can discreetly leave the Church without having been deprived of that which is greater: that is, their partaking of the Mystery of the Divine Eucharist.” It is in this mention of his, that the second, characteristic quality of his sermons is also contained.
2. As a respected historian, and as such, profoundly knowledgeable regarding the social and political situation both in Greece and the world community, Fr. George chose to insert historical extensions during the delivery of his theological discourses, given that he - like his reposed colleague at the Theological School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and respected Professor, Konstantinos Papapetrou (+ 22-9-2007) – always regarded that “Theology resides within everything”. This assertion made his words historically opportune ones, given that his frequent references to contemporary issues ‒ as well as the daily provocations and invitations that he encountered ‒ made his words par excellence Theological words.
3. Given that he was often invited by the Media – especially to television programs with various, not exclusively ecclesiastic (in the narrower sense) content – to submit theological replies to contemporary social issues, he would always ask his students after his televised presentations: “Were my answers theological, or not? Was I the Father George who preaches at Saint Antipas’ church and the University, or someone else, who is trying to satisfy and charm his audience, which may be persisting in whichever delusions? Am I the very same – strictly Patristic – Father George, or am I displaying a secular polity, in order to become likeable and create followers?”
I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to all those who have contributed to the publishing of this Tome, and especially to the blessed Hegumen of the Sacred Monastery of Melissohori, the Very Reverend Archimandrite Fr. Kyrillos and the reverent Fathers, for the proven love that they have shown to the texts, but even more so to the person of the now reposed Father George. We also extend our warm thanks to our spiritual sister, Ms. Ekaterini Nikolopoulou, who, having become well acquainted over time and had deeply loved Father George, can more closely convey his words in the “lingua franca” – the English language. May the blessing of our reposed, mutual Father, accompany her also.
On the bended knee of my heart I give thanks, on behalf of his venerable spouse (and our mother), Presbytera Barbara, and my siblings Angeliki and Theodore, to our Triune God, for the Teacher (and Father) that He had blessed us with.
From where he is now resting, within the Sacred Monastery of the Most Holy Theotokos Platytera in Corfu, may he pray for all of us, the readers of his books, which we hope and pray, will prove to be spiritual means that can render the Divine Mystery palpable, as well as a foretaste of His Heavenly Realm.
May we have a Bright Resurrection on our spiritual course, and look forward to reuniting at the Celestial Altar of the Divine Logos.
Demetrios G. Metallinos
Corfu, the 20th of October 2020,
Feast of our Father among Saints,
Gerasimos of Cephalonia.