Ecumenical Patriarch predicted a great future for Epifaniy 15 years ago
The Primate of the OCU shared this information in an interview with Liga.net, Religiyna Pravda reports.
Epifaniy had an internship at the National University of Athens. “I studied there for a year to improve my knowledge of Greek. I didn't plan on getting another education, studying for five years. I only needed speech, " he says. Now in his language luggage – Greek, Ukrainian, English and Russian: “but I basically do not speak Russian.”
"The Greek language is an opportunity to communicate with the Orthodox world. It is spoken by most of the Orthodox world. And the oldest Patriarchates are Constantinople, the Greek, Alexandrian, and Cypriot churches. They were the first to recognize us,” explains Epifaniy.
It was thanks to the Greek language that Epifaniy met and then became close to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. “I was still a secular person and lived in Athens. It was probably 2006, " the Metropolitan recalls. He was part of a delegation that, with the blessing of Patriarch Filaret, went to Bartholomew to ask for autocephaly.
“I started talking to him in Greek," says Epifaniy. "He was very happy: "How do you know Greek?” I say: "I studied at the Academy, now I'm improving." He asked, " how long are you in Athens?” And I only managed to study there for a few months. "It can't be," the patriarch replied. "Some people live in Greece for 10-20 years and don't know it perfectly.”
"And then, communicating with me, Bartholomew told me the prophetic words: 'you will return to Ukraine, and you will serve the Ukrainian people,'" the Metropolitan continues. – I didn't take it seriously and even forgot. Only now do I realize that it was a prophecy. It so happened that from that first meeting we became close. And who would have thought that fate would turn so that I would be at the head of the Ukrainian Church?”
They are still in touch: “we speak both by phone and in person when I visit Constantinople. Because of the pandemic, this was not possible for a long time. Now we are waiting for his arrival in Ukraine.”