Elder Sophrony officially canonized together with Elder Ieronymos of Simenopetra

Istanbul, November 28, 2019

Elder Sophrony. Photo: uncutmountainsupply.com Elder Sophrony. Photo: uncutmountainsupply.com Two Athonite elders were officially canonized by decision of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople yesterday, November 27: Elder Sophrony (Sakharov) of Essex and Elder Ieronymos of Simenopetra, reports the site of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

It was reported in October while Patriarch Bartholomew was on Mt. Athos that he had then announced St. Sophrony’s (+ 1993) canonization, though it was later clarified that he made an unofficial announcement that the Synod was continuing with the process of his canonization.

Earlier during the same trip. Pat. Bartholomew announced the canonization of four other great Athonite ascetics of the 20th century: Elders Ieronymos of Simenopetra (+ 1957), Daniel of Katounakia (+ 1929), Joseph the Hesychast (+ 1959), and Ephraim of Katounakia (+ 1998).

However, it seems Elder Ieronymos was only now officially canonized and added to the liturgical calendar.


Elder Ieronymos of Simenopetra. Photo: pemptousia.com Elder Ieronymos of Simenopetra. Photo: pemptousia.com     

Elder Ieronymos was born in 1871. He took monastic vows at Simenopetra on Mt. Athos at the age of 17. His various obediences included secretary, librarian, and others.

For some time before the outbreak of WW1, he served as steward in a monastery metochion in Athens, where St. Nektarios of Aegina was among his spiritual mentors.

Elder Ieronymos is known for composing canons and services, mainly in honor of Athonite saints. He was meek and quiet, distinguished by non-possessiveness and humility. He wore old clothing, slept sitting up, and would secretly clean the monastery latrines at night.

The Elder enjoyed great authority for his ascetic life and spiritual gifts, and in 1920 he was elected abbot of Simenopetra. During the disturbances caused by Church innovations, the Elder was driven out of the monastery in 1931 and later appointed as spiritual father of the Ascension podvoriye in Athens, living there for 26 years.

Elder Ieronymos reposed on January 7, 1957 in Athens.

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Editor12/1/2019 4:42 pm
For those who feel strongly that we should not be reporting on the Sophrony Sakharov as a saint because he was canonized by the Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew. No one has deposed Patriarch Bartholomew as Patriarch thus far, and therefore he is a patriarch of a Local Church, and has the right to canonize saints in his own jurisdiction. The Essex monastery and its founder were under the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Other Local Churches have also had great respect for Archimandrite Sophrony. That's not to say that people are not entitled to their own opinions. There are many, for example, Russian saints that were only canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church, whom other Churches venerate as saints without having their own canonization of them. But we require that people be civil in their comments and address the issues, and not engage in ad hominem attacks.

And for those who are upset because their comments to this effect were not opened: We will not be opening comments that call people demeaning names. No one has declared open season on Patriarch Bartholomew as a human being; that is of course not denying that he is going down the wrong path theologically and that his invasions of other Church's canonical territory are wrong, and urgently need to be addressed by the rest of the Orthodox world.
Raphael11/30/2019 4:35 pm
Can someone please explain to me how a man who fights the church, causes division, sides with those who are enemies of Christianity and has been accused by many respected monks, theologians and laypeople of having heretical ideas be the person to canonize any saints? Pat. Bartholomew has proven time and time again to be a compromised vessel of antagonism against the Church of Christ, and yet we are supposed to celebrate when he throws us these little bones. St.Sophrony is a Saint with or without the “canonization” from such a man in my opinion. He was a Saint way before Pat. Bartholomew made his publicity stunt. Also, why doesn’t Russia ever canonize a saint? It certainly does not need to be the Patriarchete of Istanbul. The fact that Moscow waits for Pat. Bartholomew to “canonize” only enables the false narrative that his seat in Istanbul is somehow higher and equal to the papacy‘s understanding of itself. Why does Moscow allow this? They should have been the ones to canonize St. Joseph the hesychest and St. Sophrony.
Baba Yaga11/30/2019 12:57 pm
The silly, petty nitpicking displayed in this article do nothing to advance the "cause" this website promotes. Anyone can see through it. Present the facts - if they support your stance, then they will speak loudly enough by themselves.
Ephraim11/29/2019 4:38 pm
When the editors filter and refuse to post comments on this website because it doesn’t suit their narrative and is not in line with their thinking, then they are behaving like P. Bartholomew in their power play. It’s tyrannical and unbecoming for orthodox Christians that represent the Truth who is Christ, and Christ never lied or changed the truth to please people. Very sad that you are behaving in such a condescending manner.
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