Archimandrite Cleopa Ilie (1912 - 1998) - Sihastria Monastery, Neamt County, Romania
Fr. Cleopa has found his place in history as the most representative elder and spiritual father of
contemporary Romanian Orthodox spirituality. The last twenty years of his life the Elder spent in
increased and concentrated prayer: fourteen to fifteen hours a day. He had mystical moments when he
did not want to speak to anyone, not even his cell attendant. From four until eight the Elder prayed
his morning rule; afterward he confessed monks and lay people until about four in the afternoon,
when he began his evening prayer rule, consisting of the canon of repentance, canons to the
Theotokos, the Supplicatory Canon, Small Compline and other services.
Fr. Cleopa remembering
his nostalgic beginnings: "In the years that I was shepherd of the skete’s sheep together with my
brothers, I had great spiritual joy. The sheepfold, the sheep - I live in quiet and solitude on the
mountain, in the midst of nature; it was my monastic and theological school". In the last months of
his life the Elder could be heard saying often: "Now I am going to my brothers!" and "Leave me to
depart to my brothers!" and "I am going to Christ! Pray for me, the sinner."
On the eve of the Elder’s departure for the next life he began to read his morning rule, when his
disciple said to him: "Geronda, its evening now. These prayers should be read tomorrow morning."
The Elder answered him saying, "I am reading them now because tomorrow morning I am going to my
brothers." On the morning of December 2nd, 1998, at about 2:20 a.m. Elder Cleopa departed for
eternity and His Christ.
More on Father Cleopa here:
Father Cleopa: The Elder of Romanian Orthodoxy