Podgorica, Montenegro, March 14, 2023
Archimandrite Elisha, the abbot of the Holy Monastery of Simonopetra on Mt. Athos, visited Montenegro over the weekend to offer prayers for the soul of His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro († 2020) of blessed memory, whom he had known for many years.
Fr. Elisha first concelebrated in the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Podgoria for the Second Sunday of Lent, with His Eminence Metropolitan Joanikije of Montenegro and His Grace Bishop Peter of Toplice, and dozens of other priests and deacons, reports the Metropolis of Montenegro.
Fr. Elisha is on the far right. Photo: mitropolia.com
Speaking of the importance of the priceless treasure of Mt. Athos, Met. Joanikije expressed his gratitude to his concelebrant Fr. Elisha, who is the successor to the great teacher Elder Aimilianos.
In turn, Fr. Elisha recalled when he visited Montenegro years ago, when the cathedral in Podgorica was still under construction, saying: “We know that behind this church, this work, is concealed the work and love of Metropolitan Amfilohije of blessed memory, whom we had the opportunity to meet.”
The abbot also recalled fond memories of Met. Amfilohije from when he was a young man and the future hierarch was studying in Athens. “He taught us how to pray, because he had been on Mt. Athos, and we had not yet gone to Mt. Athos,” Fr. Elisha said.
“Metropolitan Amfilohije was a great benefactor, spiritual parent, father, and brother, both for you and for us. A wise and magnificent teacher, a real, true saint. We saw what prayer and what labors he had.”
Archimandrite Elisha also noted that he was in Bosnia and Herzegovina just before Montenegro, where he took part in the two-year commemoration of His Grace Bishop Atanasije (Jevtić). Met. Amfiilohije and Bp. Atanasije were “obviously of one mind both in life and in serving the Church and in learning, but also in death,” he reflected.
“For us Greeks and Athonites, they were priceless inspirations of God’s love in sacrifice for others, in a virtuous life, in the joy of life with God and in communion with people. We will always remember them and we will always love them, we will read their works and they will be examples of martyrs and heroes and we will ask for their help and prayers in our daily service.”
Following the Liturgy, the hierarchs, clergy, and faithful made their way to the cathedral crypt, where Met. Amfilohije is buried. There, Fr. Elisha led a memorial service for the beloved hierarch.
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