In 1910, after I was ordained deacon, upon learning that my Spiritual Father Saint Nectarios was at Aegina (he had retired as head of the Rizarios Ecclesiastical School and withdrew to Holy Trinity Convent, which he had established some years earlier), I asked for permission from my Elder at Longovarda, Father Hierotheos, and went to received his blessings.
Having arrived at Aegina, I went up to the Convent at about 12 noon. It was August, and the temperature was very high. Outside the Convent I saw an old, white-bearded man, wearing a straw hat, and his cassock raised and secured to the belt. He was digging with a pickax, and with a shovel he was filling a wheelbarrow with soil, stones, etc., and pushing it to a distance of 50 to 60 meters. Not realizing that he was my Spiritual Father, the Most Reverend Nectarios, and thinking that the man I saw was a laborer who had put on the cassock in order not to dirty his clothes, or some monastic novice, I approached him, greeted him, and said:
“Is the Most Reverend Nectarios here?”
“Yes,” he replied, “what do you want him for?”
“Go and tell him, please, that a spiritual son of his, a Deacon, wants to see him.”
“Immediately,” he replied to me. And dropping the pickax he pointed at the one-room guesthouse which had been built outside the Convent, and said:
“Go to that room and wait, and I shall go and bring him out to you.”
In a few minutes he came to the guesthouse wearing his kalymmauchion and his outer cassock. At once I realized that it was the Most Reverend Metropolitan Nectarios himself whom I had taken for a laborer and had slighted. For I never imagined that it was possible for a Metropolitan to be engaged in such a lowly kind of work, especially at noontime, when everyone else was having a siesta. He had such a high office, and yet he was so humble!
From Blessed Elder Philotheos Zervakos, by Constantine Cavarnos. Modern Orthodox Saints, volume 11. Published by the Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies.