I am not a monastic, nor have I had access to any special documents not available to the layperson (you too can buy a Bible, an Agpeya, and a copy of the sayings of the Desert Fathers; heck you can buy them all at the same place, since you are on the internet. It has never been more possible.). Yet that story, while acted out in many different people according to their level of spiritual development, strikes me as the least personal, or most communal, and dare I say it (if anything in the experience of God can be put in this way) average story imaginable. Why? Because it's my story, too. And it's the story of many ex-Catholic (and ex-Muslim, ex-Atheist, ex-___) friends. And it's the story surely of many who are now priests in the Orthodox Church. It's the story of still many more who are hundreds upon hundreds of miles away from any Byzantine history or Orthodox ecclesiastical structure, but live out their faith in an immigrant church that came to them in much the same way as the faith had come to King Ezana of Axum, or Coptic Egypt by the work of St. Mark, or Armenia by the work of St. Gregory the Illuminator. You think the people in these places had tons of documents available to them to peruse and then make some sort of intellectual decision? And the people of Mt. Lebanon, likewise? And the Indians? And the Slavs? And the Romanians? I think that is a ridiculous reduction of the living history of the Church and its real witness, wherein faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Please do not depreciate the work of the Holy Spirit, who is God and the guidance of the churches. When others are led to Rome instead points East, do you likewise take such a hands-off approach, insisting that one individual's story is numerically insignificant, and hence explainable by some other, peculiar means? I would think not. Or at least I hope not.