On the 21 of January OS, which is the 3 of February NS, the Right Reverend Bishop Pavlos of Masepth pased away of congestive heart failure. Bishop Pavlos had been experiencing several medical complications for the last few years, and was undergoing kidney dialysis, as well as having undergone surgery for a heart condition.
Bishop Pavlos was 85 years old, and the grandson of a Georgian Orthodox priest who lived to be 113. In his youth, Apostolos Metroupoulos, grew up on a farm with his father, and three brothers. As a child he always accompanied his Georgian granfather, who was already a very elderly priest by that time, as his grandfather would walk for miles every day to hear confessions, give communion, and to commend the dying. This impressed the young Apostolos with the dedication that a priest should have in fulfilling his duties, and in refusing ostentation and pretension. His grandfather also met St. Nektarios of Aegina, and was given an epitrachelion by the saint, which was later passed on to Bishop Pavlos.
During World War 2, Apostolos’ (later Bishop Pavlos), and his family hid apporximaely 350 Ukrainian Jews who were seeking refuge in Greece. Although, being an Orthodox Christian, he and his family understood that Judaism was erroneous in rejecting Christ, they understood that their duty was to help people, no matter who they were. Eventually, Apostolos’ father was reported for hiding the refugees, and he and his family managed to evacuate the Jews to a safer spot. Unfortunately, his father was machine gunned by German soldiers, losing part of his hand. Thankfully, they escaped.
After the war, Apostolos married, and became a police man. During this time he began to go to the Rizarios Ecclesiastical School. He was later ordained a priest in the State Church, but, later left, like many priests, who became disillusioned with the modernism in the body. He then joined the True Orthodox Church. Eventually he came to America in the late 60s, and served as founder and priest for the Sts. Haralambos and Paraskeva Greek Orthodox church in Maspeth, Queens. He was consecrated bishop in 1998. Until his health failed, Bp. Pavlos was very strict in observing the services, and carried on a Georgian tradition he learned from his grandfather of always delivering a vibrant hour long sermon along with serving a 3hr long or more service on Sunday morning.
It is with heartfelt sorrow at his death that we commend his soul to our clergy and faithful to pray for his repose in these 40 days after his death. May his soul be granted the peace and safety in Paradise where the Presence of Christ and the Saints are.