New York, May 11, 2020
A new documentary series dedicated to modern elders of the 20th century has been released.
Episode 1 is dedicated to the newly-canonized St. Ieronymos of Simenopetra, episode 2 to the newly-canonized St. Joseph the Hesychast, and episode 3 to Elder Ephraim of Philotheou of Arizona.
Elder Ephraim, a spiritual child of St. Joseph and a renowned elder in his own right, is known as the builder of Athonite-style monasteries in America and Canada. He recently reposed in the Lord, on December 7.
Episode 1: St. Ieronymos of Simenopetra (1871-1957)
The enlightened abbot of the Monastery, Simonos Petras, lived the last 26 years of his life in the Metochi of the Ascension in Byron, which he turned into a spiritual radiation center. There he became the shepherd of the thirsty souls of the capital and the support of the wintering refugees of Asia Minor.
Episode 2: St. Joseph the Hesychast (1897-1959)
One of the greatest ascetics of modern times. He lived for 40 years in the caves of Mount Athos. He contributed to the spiritual rebirth of Mount Athos, as well as to the growth of Orthodox monasticism in America.
Episode 3: Ephraim of Philotheou and Arizona (1928 - 2019)
Elder Ephraim went to Mount Athos at the age of 19 where he became a disciple of St. Joseph the Hesychast. After the death of his elder, he undertook the Monastery of Philotheou, the manning of three more monasteries in the Orchard of the Virgin Mary and the spiritual guidance of male and female monastic communities throughout Greece. After receiving a message from God, he took the bold step into the New World: Canada and USA. There Elder Ephraim realized the great needs of the world but also the influences of Protestantism and secularization. He did not know the language. He did not know the laws. He had no one next to him from the official Church. And yet, he transplanted the spirit of Mount Athos in America with pain and toil, with prayer and blessing. At first tens, then thousands, and later hundreds of thousands, and millions of people were influenced and taught by the life and work of Elder Ephraim the "art of saving the soul." He founded 19 monasteries and monastic communities, with hundreds of monks and nuns, his spiritual children. And all together they experience what St. Porphyrios prophesied about Elder Ephraim and his work: the experience of the first Christian years.