Today if the Feastday of a modern saint who fell asleep just 21 years ago
There are few saints that we can call 'modern' but Elder Paisios (1924-1994) is one of them. While living a very holy life and undertaking the struggle which characterize holy monks, he was also a 'man in the world' who was a carpenter and later a radio operator in WWII before going to Mt. Athos at the age of twenty six. His teachings were well documented and published by a variety of sources and most often address 'practical' subjects that men, women and chldren face in everyday secular life.
A previous feature last year on our website gives biographical and related background on Elder St. Paisios. For the Feast this year we will highlight some excepts from the services that have been written in his honor. For icons and books, please visit STS Press.
The most-famed ascetic of the Holy Mountain, and the newly-shining luminary of the Church, let us praise him with hymns with all our heart, for he leads the faithful towards a life of excellence, filling them with rivers of gifts, therefore we cry out: Rejoice, Father Paisios.
God-bearing Father Paisios, on behalf of all the faithful, who fervently hymn you, do not cease to fervently entreat Christ; you have acquired boldness before the Lord, and bear, an abundance of graces venerable one, foresight and healing, alleviating the hurting, in body and soul, ever-blessed one.
(Prosomoia in Orthros Praises)
Venerable Paisios (Enzepidis), the much-wondrous and much-famed, was born in Farasa of Cappadocia on the 25th of July in 1924 from Christian parents, taking the name Arsenios after the venerable Arsenios of Cappadocia. Later he came with his parents to Greece, settling in Konitsa of Epirus, distinguishing himself as a child for his reverence and faith towards God. When he became a man he went to Athos and became a Monk, receiving the name Averkios at the prayer for the cassock wearing, then during the prayer for the small schema he received the name Paisios. To occupy himself more with asceticism he went to Sinai. He settled in the Cell of Panagouda in Karyes of Athos, and many signs in his life were done through him. Furthermore, through his teachings he brought many to the correct path. He also became the spiritual guide of the Sacred Monastery of Saint John the Theologian in Souroti. Towards the end of his life he became seriously ill, and having been perfected he was buried in the forementioned Monastery on the 12th of July 1994. He has done many signs even after his venerable repose.
Contemplate and live the divine events continuously. When someone contemplates the events of each feast, physiologically they will be moved with a special reverence to pray. Then during the Services the mind will be on the events we are celebrating and we will follow the hymns that are chanted with reverence. When the mind is on divine meanings, a person lives the events, and so it is altered...I will pray that your hearts become a Holy Manger and that the Most Holy Child of Bethlehem give you all his blessings.
(Elder Paisios quoted in "Elder Paisios the Athonite")
*Image from mystagagy.com