December 28th 2009 completes with the grace of the All-good God 200 years from the righteous dormition of a worthy spiritual person of the Philokalian Regeneration movement, who shone forth as a new cenobiarch, becoming an example of austere ascesis and ceaseless prayer, meekness and discernment, philanthropy and humility.
The word on the Righteous and God-bearer Nephon, who was given the title cenobiarch, who contributed to the growth of monasticism with the founding of hesychasteria and monasteries on the islands of the Aegean, struggling together with the other Kollyvades fathers for the preservation of the spirit of Orthodoxy, the spiritual regeneration of the people and the return to the ancient ecclesiastical tradition.
He was born in 1736 in the town of Patrika of south Chios, and he lost his parents from the epidemic of the plague, at an age when Nicholas (his worldly name) was still an infant. He was taken-in by one of his aunts and when he reached adolescence, he left for Constantinople, where he apprenticed with a merchant. However the unexpected and dramatic murder of his friend by some Janissary, filled his soul with grief and despair. This terrible occurrence compelled him to leave Constantinople and head to Mount Athos. His first stop was the Monastery of Megisti Lavra, but after a short time he left for the Pantokratoros Skete, of today's Kapsala, where he was tonsured a monk with the name Nephon. Although he never studied at a school, he comprehended the Holy Scriptures and the writings of the Great Fathers of the Church with the grace of the Holy Spirit, and he nurtured special reverence for the Most-Holy Theotokos. Together with the renowned author Alexandros Papadiamantis the Righteous Nephon struggled in asceticism together with other virtuous monks in the desert skete of St. Basil high on Athos. However because of the turbulent period of the spiritual movement of the Kollyvades the righteous Nephon, who had been ordained a priest, was shaken by the exacerbation of problems that arose and led to tragic events. The basic causes of conflict were the Kollyvades denying to perform memorial services on Sunday, which as is known is the day of our Lord's Resurrection. Of course in 1772 the Kollyvades prepared a petition to the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which together with the confession of faith they send to Constantinople with monk Nephon. The Patriarch of Theodosios II adopted a conciliar decision, with which he justified both conflicting sides. Then Nephon returned to Mount Athos without receiving the patriarchal decision. Seeing this grievous situation he planned to leave the Holy Mountain, for among others, St. Athanasios of Paros (1721-1813), who emerged as a brilliant representative of the so-called Kollyvades movement.