On July 12, one of the greatest Orthodox spiritual elders of our day fell asleep in the Lord after a lifetime of prayer, fasting, and spiritual warfare. Though he was not a priest but a simple monk, he was sought out by priests and even bishops for his spiritual counsel. Being blessed with the grace of the Holy Spirit he was known as a miracle worker and clairvoyant who could read the hearts and thoughts of people. Father Paisios was born in Greece in and was baptized with the name of Arsenius by St. Arsenius of Cappadocia , which was the last priestly act performed by this modern saint.
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On July 12, one of the greatest Orthodox spiritual elders of our day fell asleep in the Lord after a lifetime of prayer, fasting, and spiritual warfare. Though he was not a priest but a simple monk, he was sought out by priests and even bishops for his spiritual counsel. Being blessed with the grace of the Holy Spirit he was known as a miracle worker and clairvoyant who could read the hearts and thoughts of people.
Father Paisios was born in Greece in and was baptized with the name of Arsenius by St. Arsenius of Cappadocia , which was the last priestly act performed by this modern saint. Father Paisios sought out experienced holy elders and hermits who shared with him their spiritual struggles and experiences. He struggled daily to purify his soul of sinful passions and to unite himself to God through prayer. For a time, he lived in Egypt at the famed Monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai, later returning to Mt.
Athos to become the disciple of a Russian elder, Father Tikhon. Father Tikhon had the gift of tears and would serve the Liturgy in a small chapel while Father Paisios would chant the responses. Liturgy would often take as long as five or six hours because Father Tikhon would fall into weeping or be silent in contemplation.
After the death of his beloved Father Tikhon in , Father Paisios continued living on Mount Athos where he spent his time in prayer and assisting troubled people. It is said that he dedicated his days to people and his nights to God.
He received troubled souls into his humble monastic cell and received dozens of letters each day from people throughout the world. Some of the instructions he gave to people who came to him include:. For instance, if I like sweets, I should not stare at the windows of pastry shops, or if I smoke, I should avoid going by shops that sell cigarettes. The person who tries to be temperate, must safely guard.
He was once asked if it would not be better if he left his monastery to go into the world so that he could better help people. Father Paisios replied:. The army has many divisions and each one fights from its own position; the navy at sea, the airplanes in the air and the army on the land. A very specialized position is the one of the radio operator. His main characteristic is that he connects all the army divisions with the headquarters, which send help in case of emergency.
The radio operator must not be close to the combat zone, but higher up in a quiet place, so that he may clearly transmit the messages. Come and fight with us. He once told a visitor that twice he had been sick to the point of being near death. He said he valued these experiences because he had seen how good and kind people were and that he had to rely on God alone. He told a fellow monk:. The dozens of letters I receive every week talk about these problems.
At least, let me suffer from cancer as a consolation to people in distress. Things do not look too good when. Father Paisios peacefully fell asleep in the Lord from colon cancer which had spread to his liver and lungs. He had confided to one of his disciples I had asked God to make me suffer from cancer and when told he had four months to live he replied Do I have to wait for that long?
The life of Father Paisios, like that of many holy monks and nuns, is a lesson on the importance of asceticism in the lives of Christians. The word asceticism comes from the Greek ascesis which referred to gymnastic exercises and later in Greek philosophy it meat achieving virtue by means of exercises. Paul in his first Epistle to the Corinthians uses this concept to describe training or discipline in order to win a competitive game and spiritual discipline to struggle against sin and develop virtue:.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
Thus I fight; not as one who beats the air. But I discipline. We are saved, not by performing good works but when our lives are joined to that of the Lord Jesus. But in order to be joined to the Lord Jesus I must struggle to free myself of whatever sin stands in the way and struggle to join myself daily to Him. This requires effort, struggle, discipline, prayer, fasting, and self-denial. The life of Elder Paisios and the life of other holy monastics are our teachers and guides.
All Rights Reserved. Please enter a search term to begin your search. Lives of The Saints. Some of the instructions he gave to people who came to him include: - The more one becomes united to Christ, the less fear he experiences. Now, thank God, everything is just fine. His Significance The life of Father Paisios, like that of many holy monks and nuns, is a lesson on the importance of asceticism in the lives of Christians.
But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Paisios of Mount Athos
An ascetic , he was known by his visitors for his gentle manner and acceptance of those who came to receive his advice, counsel, and blessing. His words of counsel continue to be published. Paisios on July Arsenios Eznepidis was born on July 25, , to pious parents in the town of Farasa, Cappadocia of Asia Minor, shortly before the population exchange between Greece and Turkey following the Greco-Turkish War of Arsenios' name was given to him by St. Arsenios the Cappadocian , who baptized him, named the child for himself and foretold Arsenios' monastic future. Very shortly after his baptism the young Arsenios and his family were forced to leave Asia Minor in accordance the peace Treaty of Lausanne.
Elder Paisios of Mount Athos 1924-1994
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Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
He was respected for his spiritual guidance and ascetic life and many people worldwide highly venerate Elder Paisios, especially in Greece and in Russia. Arsenios' name was given to him by St. Arsenios the Cappadocian , who baptised him, naming the child for himself and foretelling Arsenios' monastic future. After the exchange, the Eznepidis family settled in Konitsa , Epirus. Arsenios grew up there, and after intermediate public school, he learned carpentry.