July 25, 2009

Papoulakis: Saint Joachim of Vatopaidi (2)

...continued from Part 1

Patriarchal and Synodal Act of Canonization For St. Joachim of Vatopaidi

To the Very Reverend Abbot Archimandrite Εphraim and the other venerable Fathers of the Holy, Royal, Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of Vatopaidi on the Holy Mountain, children in the Lord beloved of our humble self. Grace be to you, venerable fathers, and peace from God.

Based on the material submitted by you, beloved and venerable fathers, and on the relative report from our Canonical Commission, which were reviewed in the council of our Holy and Sacred Synod, the Monk Joachim Papoulakis of Vatopaidi from Ithaki – whose blessed life and conduct were distinguished by a genuine Orthodox way of thinking and by a great contribution to the Church – is hereby numbered among the Blessed Ones and Saints of the Church. His commemoration is appointed for the 2nd of March each year, whereas that of the translation of his relics for the 23rd of May.

As we happily make this known to your Reverences through this Patriarchal Letter of Greeting, we heartily rejoice together with you upon the ecclesiastical recognition of the holiness and blessedness of the Saint.

We are also sending you, enclosed herein, an exact fascimile, drawn up and signed, of the XXX Codex of our Holy and Great Church of Christ containing our relevant Patriarchal and Synod Act directed to the Church, according to proper order, to be read at your Holy Monastery and placed in its Archives. Conferring upon you our heartfelt paternal and Patriarchal blessing, we call down upon you the Grace and infinite mercy of God.

Protocol Number 323

Act regarding the enrolment of the Vatopaidi monk Joachim from Ithaki, also called “Papoulakis” (1786-1868), into the Calendar of Saints of the Church.

It is proper and of great benefit for the whole Church that they who excelled in virtues while in the flesh, and are now departed this life, should be venerated, honored, and glorified yearly in services and in hymns of praise, since, according to Saint Gregory the Theologian, the praise given to those who lived virtuously is directed to God Himself, the author of every human virtue. This is because the exaltation of good deeds moves the indolent and idle to desire and acquire virtue, whereas it inspires those who are industrious in virtue to be more so.

The Monk Joachim of Vatopaidi, later known as Papoulakis, from Ithaki, initially lived an ascetic life for twenty years in the Holy, Royal, Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of Vatopaidi on the Holy Mountain, in which he received the sacred schema, and which later sent him forth on a mission to bolster the afflicted flock of the Greek mainland, and then for forty years developed a special work on his home island of Ithaki. He lived a blessed and holy life, being a model of citizenship in Christ and a living image of virtue, and showed himself to be an instructor and protector of the harried Christian congregation.

For these reasons, we humbly, together with our most holy and honorable Metropolitans, our behoved brothers and concelebrants in the Holy Spirit, having examined his God-pleasing way of life, his works, and his achievements, and being mindful of the common good of the people, and bearing in mind all that has been presented to the Church regarding these things – submitted, on the one hand, by the Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi on the Holy Mountain, and, on the other, by the Most Reverend Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Seraphim, petitioning that the anniversary of his death be sanctioned as in honor of a Saint – we do decree, in accord with the customary practice of the Church and of our fathers before us, to bestow upon him the honor due to holy men.

Wherefore, as a synod, we decree and ordain, and direct in the Holy Spirit, that from this day hence and forevermore Joachim of Vatopaidi, Papoulakis, be reckoned among the Blessed Ones and Saints of the Church and be honored and glorified yearly in services and in hymns of praise on the second of March, the day on which he departed in blessedness unto the Lord, as well as on the tenth/twenty-third of May, the day of the translation of his holy relics.

In witness thereto, and confirmation, this our present Patriarchal and Synodal Act is made, drawn up and signed in the Sacred Codex of our Holy and Great Church of Christ, and transmitted without change or alteration to the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Seraphim, and to the Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi on the Holy Mountain, to be placed in their Archives.

In the year of salvation, 1998, in the month of March (19th).

To be continued…Part 3