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A Brief History of St. Paisios

St. Paisios

On January 13, 2015, the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Synod unanimously added the blessed Paisius to the roles of the Saints of the Church. This decision was made following the application by the Committee on Canonical issues.

Saint Paisius of Mt. Athos, known to the world as Arsenios Eznepidis was born in 1924 in Farasa Cappadocia. He departed this world in July of 1994. He was a Greek monastic who had become widely recognized for his way of life and his works.

The name of his father was Prodromos and he was the president of the town of Farasa. His mother was named Evlampia. He had eight siblings.

On August 7th, one week before the residents of Farasa left for Greece, he was baptized by the priest of the parish, Fr. Arsenios. Fr. Arsenios has been proclaimed a Saint of the Orthodox Church. Fr. Arsenios insisted that Paisius be given his name “so that I can leave a monk to take my place” as he said.

Five weeks after the baptism of little Arsenios, the Eznepidis family arrived on September 14, 1924 at the town of St. George Piraeus, Greece. The family arrived at this location along with many other from Farasa. From St. George the whole group went on to settle on the Island of Corfu. The family remained in Corfu for one and a half years.

After this the family moved to Igoumenitsa, Greece and from there went to Konitsa, Macedonia. Arsenios attended elementary school in Konitsa and received his certificate of graduation with a citation of exceptional behavior. From an early age, he pondered the miracles of St. Arsenios. He had a special inclination to the monastic life and he desired to be an ascetic.

Arsenios went to Mount Athos in 1949 to become a monk immediately after being discharged from the military. He returned to the secular world for one year in order to help settle his sisters and then he returned to Mount Athos. He stayed for one night at the Monastery of St. John the Theologian in Karyes.

He then went on to live at the Skete of Saint Panteleimon in the cell of the Presentation of the Theotokos. It is there that he met Father Cyril, the Abbot of the Monastery and was faithfully obedient to him.

After many moves to a number of retreat centers of Mount Athos and Mount Sinai, he settled in the Monastery of Koutloumousiou where he became gravely ill and fell asleep in the summer of 1994. He was laid to rest at the Convent of St. John the Theologian in Soureti, Thessaloniki.

From then on, during the 11th and 12th of July, on the anniversary of his repose, a vigil service is held there in the presence of thousands of faithful.

Translated from the Greek by: +Fr. Constantine J. Simones, January 14, 2015