Friday, 16 April 2010

Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain

Elder Paisios was born in Cappadocia on July 25, 1924. Almost immediately his family was forced to flee with the general exodus of Greek refugees from Asia Minor. They settled in Eperos in Northwestern Greece. He first visited Mt. Athos in 1949 after his time in the army. 

He returned in 1950 and, after a short time in the neighborhood of Karyes, settled in the Monastery of Esphigmenou. In 1954 he was tonsured there as rasophoros monk with the name Averkios. That same year he moved to the Monastery of Philotheou, which at that time was still idiorhythmic. The elder observed in later years that one could even live a more ordered and stricter ascetic life in an idiorhythmic monastery than in a cenobium if one was under close supervision of a good spiritual father. After two years he was tonsured to the small schema in Philotheou and given the name Paisios.

In 1958 Fr. Paisios left the Mountain and went to the Stomio Monastery of Konitsas north of Ioaninna. He stayed there four four years and in 1962 went to Mt. Sinai where he lived in the Skete of St. Epistime on Gebel Mugufa. In the two years that he stayed there he gave himself to strict physical asceticism which he later said was the breaking of his health. In 1964 he returned to Mt. Athos and lived in the Cell of the Archangels in Iveron Skete. He was hospitalized in 1966 and while on the mainland became acquainted with the nuns of the Hesychastirion of St. John the Theologian, whom he helped greatly in years to come and where he died and was buried.  

In 1968 he went to Stavronikita Monastery and was tonsured to the great and angelic schema by Papa-Tychon of the Kelli of the Holy Cross. After Papa-Tychon's passing he left the kelli to Geron Paisios and the elder remained there from 1968 to 1979.  

In 1979 he moved to the kathisma of Koutloumousiou Monastery known as Panagouda near Karyes. At his request the kathisma was made a kelli and the elder was given an omologo/ life-lease. Many of his monastic spiritual sons settled nearby in kellia or in kalyvia of Koutloumousiou Skete, but the elder lived alone. Many, many pilgrims came to visit him there. He finally died and was gathered to the Lord on July 12, 1994. Within a year two books about him and recording his teaching had been published in Greek. 
 O St. Paisios intercede us to Christ our God for His Great Mercy!

No comments:

Post a Comment