March 31, 2012

Photos: The Return of Elder Ephraim to Vatopaidi Monastery

With tears in their eyes and candles burning, the monks of Vatopaidi Monastery and hundreds of pilgrims received back their spiritual father, Abbot Ephraim, to the Garden of Theotokos. As many ran to kiss his hand to receive his blessing, the Elder was clearly moved by such a reception. When he arrived at the entrance to the Monastery, Fr. Germanos gave back to Fr. Ephraim his staff and blessing cross. They then entered the katholikon where a Doxology and Supplication service took place.

"I love them and I forgive them. My imprisonment was a miracle of the Panagia." So spoke Abbot Ephraim of Vatopaidi with tears in his eyes to his spiritual children and the pilgrims who celebrated the Service of Supplication to the Theotokos upon his return to Mount Athos after three months imprisonment in Athens. He spoke about his life in prison which he spent in prayer, but he missed participating in the Holy Mysteries of the Church.