Saturday, May 16, 2015

The ascetical places of Elder Joseph the Hesychast

Elder Joseph the Hesychast and Cave-dweller (+1959) (source)
The following is a beautiful video from a pilgrim to Mount Athos, which discusses Elder Joseph the Hesychast (+1959), a true spiritual giant of the 20th century (not yet officially canonized). The video discusses his life (in Greek) and shows many pictures. More interestingly, they show video of some of the various places where Elder Joseph lived with his synodeia on the Holy Mountain. These humble dwellings are very moving to see.
Here are a few directions, for those who can't understand Greek:
-1:45 - Cave of the Theotokos
-3:18 - Fr. Ephraim of the synodeia of Elder Ephraim of Katounakia, of Blessed Memory, as the tour guide of the video. His kalyve (hut), named after St. Ephraim, is where his Elder lived.
-8:20 - The kalyve of the Annunciation (essentially a cave), where Elders Joseph and Arsenios lived under obedience to Elder Ephraim the Barrel-maker. Fr. Ephraim mentions that the Elder Joseph would pray here noetically for six hours every night.
-10:27 - The kalyve of St. Basil, where the Elders moved for further silence and prayer.
-12:25 - The chapel at St. Basil's. Here Elder Joseph lived great deeds of ascesis and witnessed many wonders. His first synodeia lived here.
-15:01 - A cave at St. Basil's where Elder Joseph lived in asceticism.
-16:35 - Room where Elder Joseph slept, and where he wrote many of his grace-filled letter.
-23:30 - The cave near Mikri Agia Anna (Little St. Anna's Skete) where they then moved, with the chapel built in honor of the Precious Forerunner (celebrated the feast of his nativity).
-26:12 - The cells which they built to live in near Mikri Agia Anna.
-34:58 - The chapel built at the grave of Elder Joseph, in New Skete.
This is a special blessing, especially for those unable to travel to Mount Athos. May these places, filled with grace from the prayers and ascesis of many righteous men, help kindle our zeal for the risen Lord! And may we have his blessing!
Elder Joseph the Hesychast (source)
Christ is risen from the dead, by death, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tombs, He has granted life!
Truly the Lord is risen!