Saint Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
Saint Paisios was born in Cappadocia on July 25, 1924. His father was named Prodromus and his mother was named Eulampia. The saint had 8 siblings. On August 7th, 1924, saint Paisios was baptized by Saint Arsenio the Cappadocian, who insisted to give him his own name. Five weeks after the baptism of young Arsenios, on September 14th, 1924, his family was forced to flee with the general exodus of Greek refugees from Asia Minor. They settled in Eperos in Northwestern Greece. He first visited Mt. Athos in 1949 AD after he completed his time in the army.
He returned in 1950 and, after a short time in the monasteries near Karyes, settled in the Monastery of Esphigmenou. In 1954 he was tonsured there as rasophoros monk with the name Averkios. That same year he moved to the Monastery of Philotheou, which at that time was still idiorhythmic. The elder observed in later years that one could even live a more ordered and stricter ascetic life in an idiorhythmic monastery than in a cenobium if one was under close supervision of a good spiritual father. After two years he was tonsured to the small schema in Philotheou and given the name Paisios.
In 1958 Fr. Paisios left the Mountain and went to the Stomio Monastery of Konitsas north of Ioaninna. He stayed there for four years and in 1962 went to Mt. Sinai, where he lived in the Skete of St. Epistime on Gebel Mugufa. In the two years that he stayed there, he gave himself to strict physical asceticism, which he later said was the breaking of his health. In 1964 he returned to Mt. Athos and lived in the Cell of the Archangels in Iveron Skete. He was hospitalized in 1966 and while on the mainland became acquainted with the nuns of the Hesychastirion of St. John the Theologian, whom he helped greatly for many years and where he died and was buried.
In 1968 he went to Stavronikita Monastery and was tonsured to the great and angelic schema by Papa-Tychon of the Kelli of the Holy Cross. After Papa-Tychon had passed away, saint Paisios stayed there for 11 years, from 1968 to 1979, as Papa-Tychon wished.
In 1979 he moved to the Koutloumousiou Monastery and stayed in a cave, known as Panagouda, near Karyes. The elder lived alone but many pilgrims were visiting him there.
Saint Paisios suffered a lot with illnesses and was transferred in hospitals in Thessaloniki many times. He finally died on July 12, 1994, and was buried in the Holy Hesychastirion of St. John The Theologian in Thessaloniki, Souroti. Within a year, two books about him and recording his teaching had been published in Greek.