The Greek Secret: Φιλότιμο -Philotimo

Elder Paisios has voiced exactly what I am and will continue to seek.


Elder Paisios once said that “Greeks may have a pile of faults, but they also have a gift from God, philotimo and leventia; they celebrate everything. Other peoples do not even have these words in their dictionaries.”

These two expressions are almost untranslatable in English. Philotimo, according to Elder Paisios, means “the reverent distillation of goodness; the radiant love of the humble man bereft of himself, but with a heart full of gratitude to God and his fellow man; because of his spiritual sensitivity he tries to repay even the slightest good that others do to him.” While Leventia means courage, honesty, generosity of heart, directness, manliness and in general the willingness to lay down one’s life for others.

This video encaspulates the essence of the term

Father Paisios gives an example of philotimo


Father Paisios told me an incident from his childhood years:

“When I was a…

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