Paisios of Mount Athos

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos (Greek: Ὅσιος Παΐσιος ὁ Ἁγιορείτης, pronounced [ˈo:sios pai̯:sios o aɣiori̯◌ːtis]; secular name: Arsenios Eznepidis (Greek: Αρσένιος Εζνεπίδης); 1924–1994), was a well-known Greek Eastern Orthodox ascetic from Mount Athos, who originated from Pharasa, Cappadocia. He was respected for his spiritual guidance and ascetic life and many people worldwide highly venerate Elder Paisios, especially in Greece and in Russia.[8][9][10]

Paisios of Mount Athos
Paisios l'Atonita.png
BornArsenios Eznepidis
(1924-07-25)25 July 1924
Pharasa, Cappadocia, Ottoman Empire[note 1]
ResidenceKonitsa; Mount Athos; Sinai Peninsula; Souroti
Died( 1994-07-12)12 July 1994 (age 69 years)[note 2]
Monastery of St. John the Theologian, Souroti, Thessaloniki, Greece
Venerated inEastern Orthodox Church
Canonized13 January 2015 by Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople[3][4]
Major shrineMonastery of St. John the Theologian, Souroti
Feast12 July (ns)[2][5][6] / 29 June (os)[7]
InfluencesSaint Arsenios the Cappadocian; Elder Tikhon (Golenkov) of Kapsala, Mt. Athos
Tradition or genre
Athonite Monasticism

Venerable Elder Paisios was canonized on 13 January 2015 by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate,[3] and the church commemorates his feast day on June 29 [OS] / July 12 [NS].[5][6]

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church decided at its meeting of 5 May 2015 also to add the name of the Venerable Paisios of Mount Athos to the Menology of the Russian Orthodox Church, establishing his feast day on June 29/July 12, aligning with the Menology of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople[7] during the present century.


On 25 July [O.S. 12 July] 1924, Arsenios Eznepidis was born in Pharasa (Çamlıca), Cappadocia, shortly before the population exchange between Greece and Turkey. 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.

During the civil war in Greece, Arsenios served as a radio operator. In 1950, having completed his service, he went to Mount Athos: first to Father Kyril, the future abbot of Koutloumousiou monastery, and then to Esphigmenou Monastery (although he was not supportive of their later opposition to the Ecumenical Patriarchate).[citation needed]

Arsenios, having been a novice for four years, was tonsured a Rassophore monk on 27 March 1954, and was given the name Averkios.[11]

Soon after, Father Averkios went to the (then) idiorrhythmic brotherhood of Philotheou monastery, where his uncle was a monk. While there, he was in obedience to Elder Symeon. On 12 March 1957, Elder Symeon tonsured Father Averkios to the Small Schema, giving him the name Paisios, in honour of the indefatigable Metropolitan of Caesarea, Paisios II, whose native village was Pharasa.[12]


  • 1958: Father Paisios was asked to spend time in his home village to support the faithful against Protestantism.
  • 1962: Father Paisios went to Saint Catherine's Monastery on Mount Sinai.
  • 1964: On his return to Mount Athos, Father Paisios took up residence at the Iviron monastery, then at Katounakia. His failing health may have led him to leave Katounakia.
  • 1966: Father Paisios had an operation, and part of his lungs were removed. During this time, his friendship with the sisterhood of Monastery of St. John the Theologian in Souroti, began. Elder Paisios would place the relics of St. Arsenios the Cappadocian in this monastery.
  • 1966: On 11 January 1966, Father Paisios received the Great and Angelic Schema from Elder Tikhon, at the Hermitage of the Holy Cross, of the monastery of Stavronikita.[13] After Elder Tikhon's death on 10 September 1968, Fr. Paisios resided in that hermitage.
  • 1979: Elder Paisios moved to Panagouda, a hermitage belonging to Koutloumousiou Monastery. It was here that his renown grew. Between prayer and assisting his visitors, he only rested for two or three hours each night.
  • 1993 October 5: Elder Paisios left Mount Athos for medical attention. Despite his wish to be gone only a few days, he was diagnosed with cancer requiring immediate surgery, and after recovery, he was transferred to the Monastery of St. John the Theologian, Souroti.
Despite wishing to return to Mount Athos, his health did not allow it.
  • 1994 July 12: Having received Holy Communion the previous day, Elder Paisios died. He was buried at the Monastery in Souroti, next to the church of St Arsenios the Cappadocian.

Monastic lifeEdit

In 1958 Elder Paisios was asked to spend some time in and around his home village so as to support the faithful against the proselytism of Protestant groups. He greatly encouraged the faithful there, helping many people. Afterwards, in 1962, he left to visit Saint Catherine's Monastery on Sinai where he stayed for two years. During this time he became beloved of the Bedouins who benefited from his presence both spiritually as well as materially as the Elder used the money he received from the sale of his carved wooden handicraft to buy the Bedouins food.[citation needed]

On his return to Mt. Athos in 1964 Elder Paisios took up residence at the Skete of Iviron before moving to Katounakia at the southernmost tip of Mt. Athos for a short stay in the wilderness there. The Elder's failing health may have been part of the reason for his departure from there. In 1966 he had an operation removing part of his lungs. It was during this time of hospitalization that his long friendship with the then young sisterhood of St. John the Theologian in Souroti, just outside Thessaloniki, began. During his operation he needed a large amount of blood and a group of novices from the monastery donated blood to save him.[citation needed]

In 1968 he spent time at the Monastery of Stavronikita.[citation needed]

Prophecies on geopolitical mattersEdit

A number of geopolitical prophecies have been credited to Elder Paisios. These include the prediction that a war between Turkey and Russia will come out and that this war lead to a restoration of the Greater Greece,and the liberation of other lands including Albania, the rest of Macedonia, and Byzantium (Constantinople), and the conversion of a part of the Turks from Islam to Orthodox Christianity.[14]

The Hieromonk Makarios of Mount Athos collected some of saint Paisios' prophecies and published them in 1990 -when the saint was still alive- in his book, "Words of Wisdom and Grace of the Elder Paisios the Hagioreite, I" (Greek).[15]


The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate canonized Elder Paisios on 13 January 2015.[3][note 3] Paisios' sainthood happened quickly according to church standards, and was the second-fastest sainthood in recent church history.[16] On Sunday 17 January 2015 many faithful from across the Balkans went on pilgrimage to the monastery in Souroti, which St. Paisios helped found in 1967, culminating five nights of continuous prayers. Archbishop Damianos of Sinai, abbot of St. Catherine's Orthodox Monastery in Egypt's Sinai peninsula since 1973, was also present at the ceremonies.[16][note 4]

On Sunday 25 January 2015 the first church in the world to be dedicated to Saint Paisios the Athonite was consecrated in central Limassol, Cyprus, in the neighbourhood of Ekali, across from Tsirion Stadium.[17] The sacred service began at 6pm with the reception of the holy relics of Hieromartyr Heraclides, Bishop of Tamassos (September 17), of Saint Cosmas of Mount Athos,[note 5] and of the New Martyr George of Cyprus (April 23). These were placed respectively in the three altars of the new church, which was thus dedicated to Saint Arsenios of Cappadocia (November 10), to Saint Paisios of Mount Athos (July 12), and to the holy Martyrs Barachisius and Jonah (March 29), given that the church in Pharasa, Cappadocia, which was Saint Arsenios' and Saint Paisios' village and place of birth, was dedicated in honour of the Martyrs Barachisius and Jonah.[17]

On Saturday 11 July 2015, the first church in Greece to be dedicated to Saint Paisios was consecrated in Nea Efesos, Pieria, Greece. Metropolitan George (Chrysostomou) of Kitros, Katerini and Platamonas (el) officiated at the thyranoixia.[18]

In 2017 on the feast day of Saint Paisios, Metropolitan Nikolaos (Protopappas) of Phthiotis remarked that "Saint Paisios was the saint of the dispirited and of sinners".[19] While Metropolitan Seraphim (Papakostas) of Kastoria stated that "Saint Paisios is the response to those who question the presence of God".[20]

On Sunday 24 February 2019, the first Athonite church dedicated to St. Paisios the Athonite was consecrated by His Eminence Metropolitan Panteleimon (Kalafatis) of Xanthi. The church is located in Kapsala, in the area between Karyes and the monasteries of Pantocrator and Stavronikita, where there used to be a skete.[21]

Published worksEdit

Translated into English
In Greek
  • Λόγοι Ϛʹ· Περί Προσευχής, Ἱερὸν Ἡσυχαστήριον Μοναζουσῶν "Εὐαγγελιστὴς Ἰωάννης ὁ Θεολόγος". 2012 (Spiritual Counsels, Vol. 6: On Prayer, Holy Monastery "Evangelist John the Theologian". 2012)
  • Ὅσιος Παΐσιος ο Αγιορείτης, "Ωφέλιμες Διηγήσεις", Ιερά Μονή Αγίου Ιλαρίωνος Πρόμαχοι Αριδαίας. 2016 (a collection of written narratives of the saint found in his private notebook of notes, typed down and published)
  • Ὅσιος Παΐσιος ο Αγιορείτης, Σημεία των Καιρών ("Signs of The Time", handwritten letter of the saint towards the society on coming events and the future)
  • "Το Τετράδιο του Γέρωντος Παϊσίου", ed. Protopresbyter Georgios Manos, Ορθόδοξος Κυψέλη, 2009. (notices by the Saint on Metanoia and the Sacrament of Penance; printed with commentary and supplemental prayers)
  • Ὅσιος Παΐσιος ὁ Ἁγιορείτης, "Ὁ μικρὸς Ἀνθόκηπος - Ἁγιογραφικὰ καὶ πατερικὰ χωρία ἐπιλεγμένα ἀπὸ τὸν Ἃγιο Παΐσιο τὸν Ἁγιορείτη", ed. by Ἱερὸν Ἡσυχαστήριον "Εὐαγγελιστὴς Ἰωάννης ὁ Θεολόγος". Βασιλικά Θεσσαλονίκης, 2018. (The Garden of Flowers - quotes from the Church fathers and from hagiography selected by the Saint Paisios of the Holy Mountain)
  • "Γέρωντος Παϊσίου Αγιορείτου, Διδαχές και Αλληλογραφία", Εκδόσεις Η Μεταμόρφωσις του Σωτήρος, Μήλεσι. 2007 (teachings and correspondence of the saint)

Orthodox hymnEdit


Thou, O Father, didst say with words enlightened by the Holy Spirit that many saints would have desired to live in our times, in order to strive for salvation.
For Thou didst herald to us, who live in darkness, that the time is almost ready and that those that now struggle valiantly to win their salvation will receive a martyr's reward.
For this we thank God, Who with mercy looked on His people, sending His Saint for our enlightenment, and thus with voices of joy we gladly sing to our All-Gracious Master the song: Alleluia![22]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Pharasa is on the road connecting Kaisareia (Kayseri) with Adana, while on the side of Ala Dağ there were some narrow crossings leading to Niğde. Therefore, although Pharasa was isolated from the regional urban centres, it was connected by road with most of them."[1]
  2. ^ "It was eleven in the morning on Tuesday, 12 July 1994 – the date according to the Old Calendar was equal to 29 June. He was laid to rest behind the church of Arsenios the Cappadocian."[2]
  3. ^ "The Holy and Sacred Synod convened today, Tuesday, 13 January 2015, with His All-Holiness presiding for its regular monthly meeting, for the purpose of examining various items on its agenda. During this session, the Holy and Sacred Synod:
    a) unanimously accepted the proposal of the Canonical Committee to incorporate the monk Paisios of Mt. Athos into the registry of the Saints of the Orthodox Church..."[3]
  4. ^ "Saint Paisios spent two years with us (at St. Catherine's)...We are praying for God's and St. Paisios' enlightenment, so that Greece may be saved," he said.[16]
  5. ^ It is unclear which Saint this refers to:


  1. ^ Karachristos, Ioannis. "Pharasa (Ottoman Period)." Encyclopaedia of the Hellenic World, Asia Minor. 9/9/2005. Retrieved: 20 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b Hieromonk Isaac, 2012: p. 322.
  3. ^ a b c d (in Greek) Και επίσημα άγιος ο Γέροντας Παΐσιος. ΣΚΑΪ.gr. 13/01/2015 - 16:31. Retrieved: 20 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Ἀνακοινωθέν (13/01/2015) - Latest News - The Ecumenical Patriarchate".
  5. ^ a b (in Greek) Όσιος Παΐσιος ο Αγιορείτης. Ορθόδοξος Συναξαριστής. 12/07/2015.
  6. ^ a b Ecumenical Patriarchate Officially Entered Elder Paisios among the List of Saints. Ecumenical Patriarchate - Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and South East Asia (OMHKSEA). 13 January 2015. Retrieved: 20 January 2015.
  7. ^ a b The Russian Church Adds the Name of the Venerable Paisios of Mount Athos to its Menology. PRAVMIR.COM. 11 MAY 2015.
  8. ^ Hieromonk Damascene. Elder Paisios the New of Mount Athos (Part 1). Orthodoxy and the World ( 25 March 2005, 01:00.
  9. ^ Bishop Alexander (Mileant), Ed.. An introduction to the life and counsels of Elder Paisios the New of Mount Athos by Hieromonk Damascene. Missionary Leaflet EA38, Holy Trinity Orthodox Mission, La Canada, Ca.
  10. ^ (in Russian) On the glorification of Elder Paisios Archived 19 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Православие и мир. (
  11. ^ Hieromonk Isaac, 2012: p. 65.
  12. ^ Hieromonk Isaac, 2012: p. 85.
  13. ^ Hieromonk Isaac, 2012: p. 163.
  14. ^ "Some Greeks Turn to Elder Paisios' Prophecies on Russia-Turkey Conflict". 25 November 2015.
  15. ^ Λόγοι σοφίας και χάριτος Α' Γέροντος Παϊσίου του Αγιορείτου, Μακάριος Ιερομόναχος, Ιερόν Κελλίον Κοιμήσεως της Θεοτόκου, Αγία Άννα - Άγιον Όρος. 1990
  16. ^ a b c Greek Orthodox Church names monk as St. Paisios. 18 January 2015 9:04 pm. Retrieved: 15 February 2015.
  17. ^ a b (in Greek) Εγκαίνια Ναού για τον Όσιο Παΐσιο στη Λεμεσό. ΠΕΜΠΤΟΥΣΙΑ | ΠΟΛΙΤΙΣΜΟΣ ΕΠΙΣΤΗΜΕΣ ΘΡΗΣΚΕΙΑ. 25 Ιανουαρίου 2015. Retrieved: 28 January 2015.
  18. ^ (in Greek) Ι.Μ. Κίτρους. Θυρανοίξια και πρώτη πανήγυρη Ι.Ν. Οσίου Παϊσίου (ΦΩΤΟ). ROMFEA.GR. Κυριακή, 12 Ιουλίου 2015. Retrieved: 15 July 2017.
  19. ^ (in Greek) Ι.Μ. Φθιώτιδος. Φθιώτιδος: "Ο Άγιος Παΐσιος ήταν ο Άγιος των πονεμένων και των αμαρτωλών". ROMFEA.GR. 12 Ιουλίου 2017. Retrieved: 13 July 2017.
  20. ^ (in Greek) Ι.Μ. Καστορίας. Καστορίας: "Ο Άγιος Παΐσιος είναι η απάντηση σε όσους αμφισβητούν την παρουσία του Θεού". ROMFEA.GR. 12 Ιουλίου 2017. Retrieved: 13 July 2017.
  21. ^ (in Greek) Αγιο Ορος: Εγκαινιάζεται ο Ναός του Αγίου Παϊσίου στην Καψάλα. Βήμα Ορθοδοξίας. 22-02-2019 | 12:21:04.
  22. ^ Akathist to our Holy Father Paisius the Athonite. St. John the Wonderworker of San Francisco Church (ROCOR), Colchester, Essex England (Orthodox England). Retrieved: 21 January 2015.


External linksEdit