Nearly a decade has passed since the repose of Elder Paisios. In that time,
several books by and about him have appeared not only in Greek but also in
other languages, thus providing an opportunity for those outside of the Elder’s
homeland to benefit from his life and counsels. Two books by the Elder’s
spiritual children have now been published in English: Elder Paisios of the
Holy Mountain by Priest-monk Christodoulos, and Talks with Father
Paisios by Athanasios Rakovalis. Furthermore, the women’s monastery he
helped to establish — the Holy Monastery of the Evangelist John the Theologian
in Souroti, Greece — has now published English editions of all four books of
the Elder’s writings: Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian, Elder Hadji-Georgis
the Athonite, Athonite Fathers and Athonite Matters, and Epistles.
The monastery is currently planning to publish English editions of all three
books of the Elder’s discourses as well: With Pain and Love for
Contemporary Man, Spiritual Wakefulness, and Spiritual Struggle.
From the books by and about Elder Paisios that are now available, we in the
English-speaking world can become partakers of his deep store of spirituality
and wisdom. Each line of his, coming from a heart overflowing with love for God
and man, can rekindle our longings for closer communion with God and a more
perfect love for our neighbor. Coming to know his beautiful soul as it
expresses itself in words, we can come to love him as our father in the Faith.
And since we believe that the souls of reposed righteous ones remain alive with
our Lord Jesus Christ, we can learn from him as from one still alive, becoming,
as it were, his posthumous disciples. In anticipation of his formal
glorification by the Greek Orthodox Church, we can call upon him in prayer,
asking him to help us on the path to Christ’s Kingdom.
As his spiritual daughters at the convent in Souroti have aptly written,
"Elder Paisios gave himself completely to God, and God gave him to the
whole world" (Elder Paisios of Mount Athos, Epistles,
p. 10). God gave him to each of us Orthodox Christians, and it is ours
to receive that gift and make use of it for the salvation of our souls and the
souls of our suffering fellow men.
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