July 12, 2018

How the Books About Saint Paisios the Athonite From Souroti Were Written

By Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou

I asked the abbess Philothei: "Those important books about Elder Paisios, how were they written? Was it just how every nun remembered?"

She told me: "No. The Elder would come to the monastery, and we would have a gathering, where he would speak to the nuns. Then he would see each nun one by one separately. The Holy Spirit was at those gatherings. We knew that a God-bearing man was speaking to us. Then the nuns would come to me afterwards and say: 'Eldress, I wrote the things I heard from the Elder.' The nuns didn't have recorders, just their memories. 'Do we have the blessing to write the things the Elder told us?' they asked. I told them that whatever you hear from the Elder, write it down, but bring it to me. I wanted to ask the Elder first about it, and if he wanted them to stop then we would. In this way entire notebooks were written.

When the Elder found out about this, he asked: 'The things that I am telling you, are you writing them down?' I said: 'The sisters are writing them down, but they bring them all to me. From 1965 till today, we have many things written.' He said: 'Gather them, arrange them by topic, whatever is repeated then discard, and put them all together so I can take them to Panagouda, where I will read them during the winter nights, and wherever corrections are needed, I will correct them.'"

This is how these books came down to us. Whatever has come down to us from Souroti, has passed through the inspection of Saint Paisios.