New Documentary on St. Paisios’ time at St. Catherine Monastery

Friends of Mount Sinai Monastery – July 2016

Today, as we celebrate the Feast Day of St. Paisios of Mount Athos, FMSM presents a documentary with English subtitles that depicts the time St. Paisios spent at St. Catherine’s Monastery. He was about 38 years old and already gifted spiritually, but would still be tested in the desert of Sinai. The film features unique scenes of the monastery, along with interviews with Archbishop Damianos of Sinai, Pharan and Raitho, Abbot of St. Catherine’s Monastery, and Father Pavlos regarding their personal experiences with St. Paisios.

St. Paisios had a close connection with St. Catherine’s Monastery. The following is from a note sent today by a Monastic associated with St. Catherine’s:

Many Years as St. Catherine’s celebrates the Feast of the chief Apostles Sts. Peter and Paul today, on the old ecclesiastical calendar followed in Mount Sinai.

We were enjoying refreshments in the Monastery ‘saloni’ after Liturgy on this exact Feast when word arrived that the great Apostle of Christ’s message to the 20th century, Geronta Paisios, had just reposed in the Lord. Once again as has happened so many times in Orthodox history, a Saint had been taken to heaven on the day most connected to his or her life, to celebrate it in the embrace of Christ.

Although 30 years had passed since the Elder lived in his hermitage on the mountain overlooking St. Catherine’s, the air suddenly seemed to go out of the room. In fact, Father Paisios had returned on visits to Sinai, and was well known to the younger generation there. A new hermitage had even been under construction for him at a lower altitude down in the desert, where he hoped his health would allow him to spend his final years, once more enjoying the incomparable stillness of Sinai.  As though in keeping with the elder’s support of women’s monasticism, this site eventually became a women’s skete.

The last visitor the elder received at Souroti Monastery in Greece, where he was being cared for by the nuns he had helped so much, was Archbishop Damianos, who had remained very close to Geronta Paisios ever since their time together in Sinai, and was asked to read for him the prayer for the departure of the soul.

Wishing everyone the grace of the Apostles’ Feast, together with that of the now inseparable Feast of the newly glorified Saint Paisios of the Holy Mountain. 

The film was created by Russian author/director Alexander Kouprin under the guidance of Igumen Cyprian (Yaschenko) of the Holy Trinity – St.Sergius Lavra near Moscow and on the advice of Elder Euthymius of Mount Athos. FMSM is grateful to the filmmakers for permission to add English subtitles. The film consists of six parts and is based on the Life Account of Elder Paisios by Hieromonk Isaac and other sources. This is Part III of the film “The Sinai Hermit”, with English subtitles.

Note: if the subtitles do not show up, press the “cc” box. If you are using a smartphone and they do not show up, please go to the original youtube posting at this link.