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Five Newly Glorified Saints of the Orthodox Church

During a recent visit to Mt. Athos in Greece on October 20, 2019, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople announced the entry into the Official Calendar of the Church: the Saints Joseph the Hesychast, Ephraim of Katounakia, Ieronymos of Simonopetra, and Daniel of Katounakia. Two days later, the Patriarch announced the glorification into Sainthood of another 20th century Elder of the Church: Sophrony of Essex.

Whenever an inquirer asks why I believe the Orthodox Church is the true Church, I normally do not begin with a detailed explanation of Church history and theology. My short answer is that I believe the Orthodox Church is the true Church because — quite simply — she continues to produce Saints. The same miracles of the Saints we read about in the Book of Acts continue to happen in the life of the Church today. The Saints are a living witness of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our Orthodox Church.

Saint Joseph the Hesychast (1898 - 1959)
Elder Joseph helped to revitalize the spiritual life of Mt. Athos after WW2 through his devotion to a strict life of prayer and obedience. Many of his spiritual children became future abbots of monasteries on Mt. Athos, including Elder Ephraim of Arizona, who in the last 25 years has established 17 monasteries throughout North America. The relic of St. Joseph’s skull may be venerated at St. Anthony’s Monastery in Arizona.

Saint Ephraim of Katonakia (1912-1998)
Elder Ephraim of Katonakia (not to be confused of Elder Ephraim of Arizona who is still living) lived 65 years of strict ascetism on the Holy Mountain, far from the world, poor according to the world, but rich in the divine charismata of the Holy Spirit that he had acquired, and was shown to be an obedient disciple filled with spiritual gifts.

Saint Ieronymos of Simenopetra (1871-1957)
Elder Ieronymos labored on the Holy Mountain beginning in 1888. He became a great schema monk on Palm Sunday in 1893 and later served as abbot of Simenopetra from 1920 to 1931, during which time the monastery flourished. He was distinguished by his love and retired to the metochion of the Ascension in Athens, where he labored until his repose in 1957.

Saint Daniel of Katounakia (1846-1929)
Elder Daniel was tonsured at St. Panteleimon’s Monastery on Mt. Athos and later lived at Vatopaidi, where he was miraculously healed of nephritis by the Holy Belt of the Mother of God. After 5 years in Vatopaidi, he became a hermit in Katounakia, where a brotherhood began to form around him after a few years. He is known to have had the gift of spiritual counsel and consolation in sorrows, and saved many monks from spiritual delusion.

Saint Sophrony (1896-1993)
Elder Sophrony is known as the spiritual child and biographer of the great St. Silouan the Athonite and the founder of St. John the Baptist Monastery in Essex, England. As Abbot of the monastery in Essex, Elder Sophrony established a rule of prayer in which the monks and nuns pray for hours each day: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me a sinner, and upon your world."

"God is glorified in His Saints" (1 Thess. 1:10)

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Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
64 Hershey Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17603

Phone: (717) 394-1735
Fax: (717) 394-0991


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