A book of reminiscences on the life and sayings of the Elder Paisios (), one of the towering figures of Greek Orthodox monasticism in the 20th century. by Elder Paisios of Mt Athos of ever-blessed memory. After the devil’s cataclysm, God’s sunshine will appear. Behind the worldly spirit of today’s “freedom,” the. Saint Paisios of Mount Athos () was one of the greatest and most revered elders of the Orthodox Church in the twentieth century. An inheritor and.
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Australia is the land ‘par excellence’ of level and flat plains. Her mountains are few. And these few which exist are unquarried.
Wisdom for the day – Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain
They have not yet been dug or cultivated by the sacred perspiration of holy souls; they have not yet been shocked by unspoken sighs of God-minded people seeking the Lord; they have not been watered by heart- felt tears of repentance. Their soil does not cover gold-waxed scented relics of saints. Their caves, desolate of hermits, are simply tourist attractions.
And the Christian people of the land, lift up their eyes to the hills’, awaiting help on their journey, guidance in their steps, relief from the weight of their soul In the Mother Country things are different. There our country enclosed “by mountains which have as a covering the low sky day and night”, as the poet Seferis would have said.
And nearly all the Greek mountains are sanctified by hermitages and monasteries, where the faithful people run ‘as a thirsty deer in order to lean on to rest, to be comforted, to express their pain, to confess their transgressions, to find their God and their self But above all the holy Greek mountains stands Athos, the Holy Mountain, which for more than one thousand years is sanctified and sanctifies, transfigures and is transfigured, illumines and is illuminated, is comforted and comforts, below the holy Maphora of the Panagia who selected it as an hol of her own and as her Garden On this mountain, mountan exceptional Athos, our people ‘lift up their eyes’ and find help.
The black clad, embodied angels which fit its caves and holes, its abounding rocks, its cliffs and ravines, its if and seats, its grand, Byzantine, kingly monasteries and sketes, these deniers of worldliness but philanthropists, never hesitate to hasten to the aid of ‘the sea-farers’ in the sea of the paiios of life and ‘all the scandals of the devil’.
Balamand Monastery – Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain
Their philanthropic stole, their wise advice, their comforting word, the holy example of their love which is worthy of imitation, the effusive and yet internal peace inherent in their appearance, their peaceful glance, their blessed discernment and their God- persuading prayer, is the greatest comfort and the most substantive support of the faithful!
And it is exactly this which is not offered by the hills of Australia! This blessed place has everything except the grace of a Holy Mountain!
And this deficiency is not at all insignificant and unworthy of mention.
But, God found a way to comfort his struggling people, here! He sent to them an Archbishop and Shepherd, a man who has tasted the goodness of the Holy Mountain and its monks, respects Athos and reveres its holy men! So, Archbishop Stylianos, arranged to transfer For more than nineteen years now, he annually invites one or two spiritual holg from Athos, usually in the period of Great Lent, who patiently travel around the fifth continent accepting the confession of the faithful, comforting, admonishing, dispersing doubts, supporting in the holyy, reconciling, leading to the knowledge of God But above all the name eldfr Father Tychon, today the Abbot of the Monastery of Stavronikita, has been connected, I think, more closely than all the others.
SAINT PAISIOS of Mount Athos
Because Father Tychon, with the blessing of his elder, the Abbot Vasileios, who from very early on comprehended the special needs of Australia and responded with much brotherly love to the relevant invitations of our Archbishop, came for seven consecutive years, leaving his monastery, the security of his cell, the sweetness of serenity, his own personal progress, remaining faithful to the instruction: Kosmas Aitolos he also was a monk of the Holy Mountainfrom Sydney to Darwin, from Brisbane to Perth, and from Melbourne and Canberra to Adelaide, and not a few country towns of this Land, silently, humbly, calmly, without complaint, sacrificially, with a genuine ecclesiastical attitude, indefatigably, whole- heartedly, patiently, sweetly, with brotherly love, like a good day’ as we say in Crete!
And I don’t think he was at all unjustified. All the monks that came here and specifically the organiser of the program of the blessed visits, Father Vasileios, are our benefactors. And likewise, all those who being unable to come personally support us with their holy prayers. But Father Tychon went a step further!
And I consider it an exceptional blessing from God to my unworthiness that ‘by coincidence’ the great honour of liturgising in the Monastery of Stavronikita on the day of the enthronement of its Abbot, fell to me, thus repaying, somehow symbolically, a small part of the debt of gratitude that we as the Archdiocese of Australia owe to him, to the Stavronikita Dignity and to monasticism of the Holy Mountain as a whole When the Elder Paisios came to Australia with Father Vasileios, the then Abbot of Stavronikita, inhe said, as I have been informed, “Many problems exist here in Australia, because this land has not as yet brought forth a saint.
I believe, though, that even Australia, in the future, will bring forth saints, from within so many faithful who fight the good fight here, and then things will change And we in turn believe, that through his and all the monks’ prayers, and with the continuing annual visits of the spiritual fathers to Australia for the help and support of the faithful and assistance in the work of her martyr Church, the words of the Elder Paisios will come true.
With the enlightened guidance of Archbishop Stylianos, a regenerative effort is being carried out, in the middle – it is true – of countless difficulties, from one side of the continent to the other.
SAINT PAISIOS of Mount Athos
The number of conscious faithful is increasing impressionably. Monastic shelters are being prepared. Simultaneously, Australia gives its tithe to the Holy Mountain, which is the only place on earth which does not give birth to people.
Many of our children in recent years have been called to the monastic surrounds of the Holy Mountain, praying night and day for Australian Orthodoxy and the salvation of us all It is said that the light of people are the monks, the light of monks are the angels, the light of angels is God”.
This light, it is our humble prayer and plea, will continue to bring to Australia, for many years to come, “the blessed feet” of the Fathers of the Holy Mountain, “preaching peace, preaching the good things”.
Luke the Evangelist cod.