Revelations on the Calendar to Elders Joseph the Hesychast (+1959) & Ephraim of Katounakia (+1998), Holy Mount Athos, Greece


Revelations on the Calendar to Elders Joseph the Hesychast (+1959)

& Ephraim of Katounakia (+1998), Holy Mount Athos, Greece

“When the New Calendar entered into the life of the Church after 1924, the entire Holy Mountain, for reasons of tradition, maintained the use of the Old Calendar, without severing communion with and maintaining dependency upon the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and consequently, with the other Orthodox Churches.

Because of this calendar change, some Athonite Monks -the self-titled “Zealots”- broke their spiritual communion with the Patriarchate and the rest of the Holy Mountain. They would participate neither in Liturgies, nor in festal celebrations, nor even communicate with the rest of the fathers.

Katounakia was one of the centers of the Zealots and Papa Ephraim was one of them. Moved by spiritual zeal, both he and Elder Joseph the Hesychast initially joined the extremist party of the so-called “Matthewites”. When an issue arises concerning the faith, naturally fanaticism will rise up.

The grandiose Matthew, who so occupied Athonite monasticism, proceeded from another Matthew, a Cretan monk. Matthew had obvious rebellious tendencies, and thus they readily induced him to take hold of some authority on account of the calendar disorder.

Increasingly the degree of fanaticism surrounding the calendar change, and depicting the Church as lapsed, Matthew created that which pleased him. He became “super-orthodox” and worked up his followers with sermons and demonstrations. This still occurs today with some of his followers – a Fresh wound to the bosom of the Church.

As always, every source of scandal creates fanaticism and unrest – mostly from ignorance – until the true state of affairs is revealed. It was natural for the fathers in the desert areas to be found among the fanatics, since anxiety and ignorance were prevalent, and because they had an acute fear that perhaps they would betray their faith.

Then, in opposition to the Matthewite harshness, the Florinite moderation appeared. The Florinites avoided the severity of the Matthewites, maintaining a milder stance, even though they were still “zealots”. The fathers then turned towards this faction. They chose the “lesser of two evils” as the better even though they were still not at peace with this.

The living Church, unjustly cast aside, was protesting with their consciences, causing them unrest. The solution for them was prayer.

Elder Joseph [the Hesychast] turned with insistence to his sure refuge of prayer, seeking an answer from on high. “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me” (Ps. 48:15 LXX), something that the blessed Elder knew well from his ascetic life.

Falling to his face with tears, pain of heart, and deep humility, he pleaded:

“We have sinned and trespassed against You, O Lord, and we have betrayed Your Most Holy will. Justly You have turned Your face from us, for we have confused and mocked the light of Your Truth. We have closed our eyes to the bedrock of the Truth, Your unswerving and unshakable Church, Your All-Holy Body, which You established amongst us through Your own presence, and which we have handed over to the conjectures of human thoughts and speculation. Remember, All-Good One, Your compassion and mercy towards us, for they are from the ages unto ages.”

With pain and persistence, he continued knocking on the doors of God’s compassion and mercy, and the All-Good One did not turn away from his humble supplication. As our blessed Elder Joseph related to us:

“During this intense petition, I was overcome by sleep. I discovered myself suddenly alone on one piece of the mountain of Athos that was separated from the rest. It stood in the oceans trembling from moment to moment, in danger of sinking into the sea. I was frightened and thought to myself, ‘Since Continue reading “Revelations on the Calendar to Elders Joseph the Hesychast (+1959) & Ephraim of Katounakia (+1998), Holy Mount Athos, Greece”


Video: Saint Nectarios of Aegina Island in Greece (+1920) prophesied the schism of the Old Calendarists



Saint Nectarios of Aegina Island in Greece (+1920)

prophesied the schism of the Old Calendarists

A letter by the blessed Fr. Epiphanios Theodoropoulos (+1989) on the matter of Ecumenism and Schismatic Old Calendarist Zealotism


A letter by the blessed Fr. Epiphanios Theodoropoulos (+1989)

on the matter of Ecumenism and Schismatic Old Calendarist Zealotism

Athens, the 22nd July 1971

Dearest fr. Nicodemus,
Rejoice in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

More than a month has passed since I received your letter.  I delayed responding to it, due to an overload of obligations.  I beg for your understanding.

I shall reply somewhat briefly, with my promise to revert, in the event that your holiness should require new clarifications.

First of all, dearest fr. Nicodemus, I am obliged to tell you a bitter truth, which will seem more than absurd to you and will amaze you.  Until this day, I have been avoiding – for the sake of providence – to formulate this position, or have expressed it in shadowy terms; however, as things have already reached a point that can go no further and certain select persons – who unfortunately have a terror-stricken conscience – have gone over to the Old Calendarists and have become victims of a relentless propaganda against the Church, it is time that the truth be told, straightforwardly and unreservedly.

Well, fr. Nicodemus, all those who – out of fear of Ecumenism – accede to the Old Calendarists gain nothing whatsoever, except that by fleeing from one heresy, they accede to another. Of course they themselves are not conscious that they have acceded to a heresy, but that does not change things in the least.

Do not think that I am unfair or immoderate.  I will prove that my argument is absolutely true. Please take note.

What is a heresy, dear fr. Nicodemus?  It is an adulteration of the Faith!  But what is an adulteration of the Faith? Is it the breaching of Dogmas? That too is an adulteration of the Faith, but it is not only that. An adulteration of the Faith is also the elevating to the status of a Dogma of the Faith, those things that are not.  That is to say, if someone were to render a secondary thing – even if a good one – as a Dogma of the Faith, as a condition for salvation, then that someone automatically becomes a he-re-tic!

Do you want an example?  Well, you have the famous Eustathians!  What did they do? Did they breach any Dogmas of the Faith?  Which one?  Perhaps the one pertaining to the Holy Trinity? Perhaps the one pertaining to the two natures of the Lord? Perhaps the one pertaining to Angels? Perhaps the one on the Devil, etc., etc.?  No!  They did not violate any Dogma.

But then what did they do?  They “elevated” certain secondary things to the level of Dogmas of the Faith, to conditions for salvation:  Celibacy, and abstaining from meat.  The Church had said that although these two things were good and holy and commendable, they were NOT conditions for salvation. They were NOT dogmas of the Continue reading “A letter by the blessed Fr. Epiphanios Theodoropoulos (+1989) on the matter of Ecumenism and Schismatic Old Calendarist Zealotism”